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2261. 2 



Encoukaged by the reception given to the first 
two volumes of this work, I lost no time before 
commencing to fulfil the promise held out at the 
close of Volume II, and endeavouring to complete 
my study of what may be regarded as the Anglo- 
Norman period of Irish history. Some explana- 
tion then seems to be required to account for the 
lapse of time before my self-imposed task was 

In the first place, these new volumes are to an 
increasing extent pioneer work. Most of the 
ground now covered has never been properly 
surveyed before. It was necessary to examine 
more systematically many fields of inquiry which 
had been at best hastily run over, and to explore 
for the first time others which had been entirely 
ignored or left unnoticed. The recent publication 
of various calendars of public records has rendered 
available many authentic sources of our history 
which were practically beyond the reach of 
previous writers. These had to be examined and 
compared with the bald and isolated entries in 
Irish and Anglo-Norman annals. In result, the 
records and annalistic entries were often found to 
explain each other and bring both into relation 
with preceding and subsequent facts. There 
were still, however, many documents and some 


collections of documents which had to be examined 
in the original. Among the most important of 
these collections were the ' Red Book of the Earl 
of Kildare', which, by the courtesy of Lord 
Frederick Fitz Gerald, I was enabled to study at 
leisure, and the ' Gormanston Register', then lying 
in manuscript in the Public Record Office at 
Dublin, but since (in 1916) calendared. These 
collections not only add to our knowledge of the 
history and possessions of some great Irish 
families, but incidentally help to determine the 
extent and progress from time to time of Anglo- 
Norman domination. For the episode of the 
Normans in Thomond it was essential to consult 
the Caithreim Toirdelbaig , a fourteenth-century 
tract recounting from an Irish point of view the 
wars of Thomond in the times of Thomas de Clare 
and his son Richard (1275-1318). To the kindness 
of Dr., now Sir Norman, Moore, I was indebted 
for the loan of the scholarly rendering (still un- 
published) of this MS. by the late Standish Hayes 
O'Grady. For the important period of the invasion 
of Edward Bruce, which proved to be the turning- 
point of Anglo-Norman influence, the entries in 
the Annals of Loch Ce and in some Anglo-Norman 
annals are unusually full. These last-mentioned 
annals are now known as Additional MS. 4792 in 
the British Museum and Laud MS. 526 in the 
Bodleian Library, and they have been published 
by J. T. Gilbert in his Chartularies of St. Mary's 
Abbey, Dublin. The accuracy of the dates supplied 
by these annals, as shown, whenever they can be 


verified, points to a contemporary source. The 
Scottish tradition as preserved by Archdeacon 
Barbour, and the Irish account in the late tract 
entitled Cath Fhochairte Brighite, were also con- 
sulted, and though these were found to be often 
inaccurate and unhistorical, they supply some 
details which may be regarded as authentic. The 
above sources taken in connexion with the public 
records of the time have enabled me to give 
a much fuller and more coherent account of this 
fateful period than any that has hitherto appeared. 
To Mr. H. T. Knox I owe the gift of careful 
transcripts of the lengthy inquisitions concerning 
the lands of the Earl of Ulster, who was murdered 
in 1333. Abstracts of the inquisitions relating to 
Connaught had already been made and annotated 
by Mr. Knox, while those relating to Ulster were 
similarly handled by me in a series of papers 
contributed to the Royal Society of Antiquaries 
of Ireland. These inquisitions throw much fresh 
light on the dominant position of the Norman 
barons in these two provinces in former years, as 
well as on the extent to which that position was 
lost owing to the disturbances following on the 
murder of the earl. It is unnecessary to specify 
here other sources of Irish history for the period 
covered, as I have thought it right to give 
throughout the work precise references to the 
principal authorities on which I rely ; but as 
further accounting for the delay in publication 
I may add that when these and other preliminary 
studies were completed, and the results from all 



sources compared and welded, as far as might be, 
into a coherent whole, the outbreak of the World- 
War diverted and absorbed all energy and atten- 
tion, and the final revision and publication of the 
work was necessarily postponed to happier times. 
Of the defects of these volumes no one can be 
more conscious than myself. One obvious imper- 
fection is perhaps inherent in the subject. Writers 
of history have always had to compromise between 
observing the strict chronological order of the 
events within their purview and following out the 
course of particular movements to their ultimate 
issues, or at least to some convenient stage, but 
they are generally enabled to find a sort of epic 
unity in the influence on events of successive 
kings or their chief ministers. The history of 
mediaeval Ireland, however, presents the difficulty 
in an aggravated form. Not only was the influence 
of the English kings and their justiciars in 
Ireland, though far from negligible, often entirely 
overshadowed by that of the local magnates, 
whether Anglo-Norman or Irish, but the course 
of events in one province or sometimes even in 
smaller districts was in general unaffected by 
what happened in others. I have therefore fre- 
quently found it advisable to treat such districts 
separately, though such treatment has inevitably 
involved serious anticipations of the general 
chronological arrangement, as well as occa- 
sional repetition due to the need of recalling 
to mind relevant facts more conveniently men- 
tioned in detail elsewhere. 


Another difficulty presented by Irish as con- 
trasted with English history in the thirteenth 
century is that there were no contemporary 
historians in Ireland, such for example as those 
connected with the school of St. Albans in 
England, who aimed at supplying a connected 
narrative of events, exhibiting them in the relation 
of cause and effect, and explaining their signifi- 
cance. It was impossible, therefore, without an 
undue exercise of the imagination to unfold in 
any detail a continuous drama of Irish history. 
The story has to be laboriously pieced together 
from isolated annalistic entries, from various 
public records and other documents, and from 
scattered indications of facts gleaned from many 
quarters, far and wide — and there remain inevitable 
gaps. It is as if there were intervals of time 
between the acts of our drama without any 
obliging chorus or messenger to tell us what has 
happened in the interludes. As some compensa- 
tion the writer is exempt from the risk of accepting 
too readily what may be only a distorted view of 
facts as seen by a prejudiced contemporary, or 
one designedly coloured with a view to influence 
opinion. While if due care be taken and a ripe 
judgement exercised, the narrative pieced together 
as above indicated, however imperfect, is at least 
so far as it goes based for the most part on the 
best and most easily-tested evidence, that is to 
say, on documents not designed to influence 
posterity, but intended for immediate use in the 
ordinary course of administration or business. 


In the immediate future Ireland is likely to 
focus upon herself a large share of political 
attention, and many ill-founded assertions re- 
garding her past history as well as her present 
condition will doubtless continue to be made by 
politicians of all parties. It might indeed be 
thought that what happened upwards of seven 
centuries ago can have no practical bearing on our 
present-day problems. Nevertheless the appeal 
to history will inevitably be made, and as a matter 
of fact the Anglo-Norman occupation of Ireland 
is by many regarded as the ' fons et origo mali '. 
It certainly had far-reaching effects. Now it has 
been my aim to examine the Anglo-Norman 
period from a mediaeval standpoint, and not to 
allow any modern political nostrum to colour the 
presentation of the picture drawn. All those who 
are sincerely desirous of understanding the Irish 
problem with the single-minded object of arriving 
at the best solution for all concerned, should 
therefore welcome an endeavour to set forth the 
facts of that occupation with as much exactness 
of statement and indifferency of judgement as is 
humanly possible. 


VOL. Ill 

Chief Governors during the Reign of Henry III 










The Minority of Henry III: 1216-26 . 15 
The Sons of William Marshal : 1219-45 49 
The Partition of Leinster: 1247. . 79 
A Note on the Authorities . . . 108 
The Geraldines in Munster : Thirteenth 

Century . . . . . .111 

Appendix I. The Seignory of Cork with 

a Pedigree of the Carews . . .147 
Appendix II. Ancestors of the Fitz 
Geralds, Earls of Desmond, and of the 
Fitz Maurices, Barons of Kerry and 
Lixnaw ...... 156 

Appendix III. The MacCarthys of Des- 
mond ...... 157 

The Conquest of Connaught: 1224-37 . 158 
The Sub-infeudation of Connaught : 1237 

and afterwards .... 190 

The O'Conors and ' the King's Cantreds ' 

in Connaught : 1235-74 . . . 225 
Appendix. Pedigree of Maic Somhairle 252 
The Earldom of Ulster: 1227-71 . 254 

Appendix I. De Lacy Pedigree, showing 

the Devolution of Meath . . .286 
Appendix II. Account of Henry de 
Mandeville, custos of Twescard, 1262 288 
Henry III: 1216-72 . . . .291 




Chief Governors of Ireland, 1272-1333 





Edward I and his Justiciars : 1272- 

1307 8 

XXXIV. The Normans in Thomond ... 53 
Appendix I. Clan Turlough and Clan 
Brian Roe . . . . .98 

Appendix II. The Death of Thomas 
de Clare ...... 99 

Appendix III. The Castles of Bun- 
ratty and Quin .... 104 

XXXV. O'Conors, de Burghs, and Fitz Geralds 

in Connaught : 1274-1315 . . 107 
Appendix I. Pedigree of the descen- 
dants of Turlough Mor O'Conor who 
were kings of Connaught 1156-1345 127 
Appendix II. Pedigree of the Barons 

ofOffaly 128 

XXXVI. The Earldom of Ulster : 1271-1315 . 130 
Appendix. Pedigree of the House of 
de Burgh ..... 159 
XXXVII. The Invasion of Edward Bruce : 1315- 

1318 160 

XXXVIII. The Ebbing Tide : 1318-33 . . .207 
XXXIX. One Hundred and Sixty Years of Nor- 
man Rule: 1173-1333 . . . 250 

Addenda et Corrigenda to Volumes I and II . . 307 

Index ......... 316 

Map of Ireland, c. 1300 



Geoffrey de Marisco, who had been appointed justiciar by 
King John on July 6, 1215, was retained in that office 
under the Regency up to July 1221 : Rot. Claus., 
5 Hen. Ill, p. 476 b. 

Henry de Londres, Archbishop of Dublin, appointed July 3 ; 
1221 : Pat. Roll, 5 Hen. Ill, m. 3. 

William Marshal the younger, Earl of Pembroke, appointed 
May 2, 1224 : Pat. Roll, 8 Hen. Ill, m. 8. During 
William's absence in England in the winter of 1224-5 
Geoffrey de Marisco was his deputy : Rot. Claus., 
9 Hen. Ill, vol. ii, p. 69 b. 

Geoffrey de Marisco, reappointed June 25, 1226 : Pat. 

Roll, 10 Hen. Ill, m. 4. 
Richard de Burgh, appointed February 13, 1228 : Pat. Roll, 

12 Hen. Ill, m. 6. 

Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent and justiciar of England, 
on June 16, 1232, was granted the office of justiciar of 
Ireland for life with power to appoint a deputy, and 
Richard de Burgh, as Hubert's deputy, was ordered to 
be intentive to Hubert : Pat. Roll, 16 Hen. Ill, m. 4. 
Hubert, however, was dismissed in disgrace on July 29, 
1232, and there is no evidence that he ever acted as 
justiciar of Ireland. 

Maurice Fitz Gerald, second baron of Offaly, appointed 
September 2, 1232 : Close Roll, 16 Hen. Ill, m. 4. 

John Fitz Geoffrey, appointed November 4, 1245 : Cal. 
Pat. Rolls, 30 Hen. Ill, p. 465. He had previously 
acted during the absence of Maurice Fitz Gerald on 
the king's expedition to Wales from September 1245 : 
Close Roll, 29 Hen. Ill, m. 2. On February 14, 
1254, the king made a grant of Ireland to his eldest 
son Prince Edward : Charter Roll, 37 & 38 Hen. Ill, 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 326, 371. John Fitz 
Geoffrey, though absent with the king in Bordeaux and 


afterwards with the prince, was seemingly continued as 
justiciar, with Eichard de la Rochelle, seneschal of 
Prince Edward, as his lieutenant, until the appointment 
as justiciar of Alan de la Zuche. From 1254 to 1276 
the appointments of justiciars do not appear on the rolls, 
and the precise dates cannot be fixed. 

Alan de la Zuche, justiciar from shortly before June 27, 
1256 : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 506. 

Stephen Longespee, justiciar from before October 21, 1258: 
Ibid., no. 600. 

William de Dene, justiciar by October 2, 1260 : Ibid., 
no. 683. 

Richaed de la Rochelle, justiciar by October 28, 1261 : 
Ibid., no. 715. He was imprisoned by the Geraldines on 
December 6, 1264. In consequence of the caption of the 
justiciar, and during the confusion caused by the Barons' 
War in England, the king, ostensibly on behalf of his son, 
committed the custody of Ireland to several persons in 
succession, namely on February 26, 1265, to Fulk de 
Saunford, Archbishop of Dublin : Ibid., nos. 758, 766 ; 
on or before May 6, 1265, to Roger Waspail : Ibid., 
no. 771 ; and on June 10, 1265, to Hugh de Taghmun, 
Bishop of Meath. On April 23, 1266, however, the 
king again addressed a writ to Richard de la Rochelle as 
justiciar or his deputy. 

David de Babey, justiciar from Michaelmas 1266 : Pipe 
Roll (Ireland), 51 Hen. Ill, 35 Rep. D. K., p. 48 ; and 
Laud MS. Annals, Chart. St. Mary's, vol. ii, p. 316. 

Robert d'Uffoed, justiciar from c. Michaelmas 1268 : 
Laud MS. as above, and cf. Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, 
nos. 849, 970. On his returning to England in March 
1270 Richard of Exeter performed the functions of 
justiciar : Annales de Monte Fernandi, and cf. 36 Rep. 
D. K., p. 54. 

James d'Audley, justiciar from Michaelmas 1270 to June 23, 
1272, when he broke his neck in Thomond : Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 889-90 ; Annales de Monte 
Fernandi, 1272. 

Maueice Fitz Maueice, younger son (eldest surviving) of 
Maurice Fitz Gerald II, deputed by the lieutenants of 
Prince Edward as justiciar from c. August 1272 : Cal. 
Pat. Rolls, 56 Hen. Ill, p. 674. 



' John, King of the Saxons, was deposed by the Death of 
Saxons in this year, and died of a fit. The son of Jjjng 
the King of France assumed the sovereignty of the ' 
Saxons and obtained their pledges.' x Such is the 
literal rendering of an entry in one of the older 
Irish annals under the year 1216. Couched in 
the phrases usually employed by native writers 
to record dynastic changes in Ireland, it expresses 
the view of contemporary events in England taken 
by an Irish onlooker. As it turned out indeed 
there was no dynastic change, but at the moment 
the statement seemed to be warranted by the 

At the time of King John's death, England Perilous 
was in a state of anarchy recalling the worst days sj; ate °^ 
of King Stephen. The greater number of the 
earls and barons of England were in arms against 
the Crown, and had called to their aid the Dauphin 
of France. Louis had landed in England with 
a formidable army, the citizens of London had 
opened their gates to him, and most of the barons 
had done him homage. Alexander of Scotland 
and Llewelyn of Wales had taken the opportunity 
of throwing off their allegiance, and both of these 
princes, from motives of their own, favoured the 
barons' cause. Of the earls of England, Randolph 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1216. 


of Chester, the earls of Derby and of Albemarle, 
and William Marshal alone supported the royal 
cause. The lords of the Welsh March were on 
the same side, and many of the royal castles were 
garrisoned for the king, but the northern, eastern, 
and south-eastern counties were all in the hands 
of Louis and the revolted barons. Throughout 
one half of England the king's writ no longer ran. 

The royal cause had indeed benefited by the 
moral support of the Pope, who had annulled the 
Great Charter, excommunicated Louis and all his 
adherents, and sent Cardinal Gualo as legate to 
support the Crown with all the authority of the 
Church. The papal prohibition, however, had 
been ineffectual to prevent the French invasion, 
and though all clerical opposition had been 
silenced, the immediate effect was to remove 
from the conflict a moderating influence and to 
exasperate the barons still more. 

It was indeed a time of great peril for England 
and for the boy-king, who was only nine years 
old. King John, on his death-bed at Newark, 
was well aware of the danger impending over 
his house. With unerring instinct he pointed 
out the only man who could save the situation. 
' For God's sake,' cried the dying king to those 
around him, 'pray the Marshal to pardon the 
wrongs I have done him. He has always served 
me loyally and has never requited me ill for the 
ills I have done to him. And because I am more 
sure of his loyalty than of that of any living man, 
I pray that he may always take charge of my son, 
for the lad will never be able to hold his own 
without the Marshal's aid.' 1 The great Earl 
Marshal was full of years, but by his character 

1 L'Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal, 11. 15170-90. 


and antecedents he was clearly marked out as 
the fittest person to undertake the regency. 
Urged by the unanimous voice of the king's 
Council, he took up the perilous task and carried 
it through to a successful issue. As Rector regis 
et regni, by his conciliatory policy, he gradually 
won over many of the revolted barons to the 
young king's side. Then by his energy, courage, 
and military skill he succeeded, in spite of scanty 
resources, in inflicting damaging defeats upon his 
foreign opponents. Finally, by the moderation 
of his conditions, 1 he induced the French prince 
to give up his great undertaking and depart with 
his army whence he came. 

During all this period of disturbance and Quiet in 
danger in England peace and comparative quiet Ireland - 
seem to have reigned in Ireland. In after times, 
as has often been said, ' England's difficulty was 
Ireland's opportunity.' Now if ever was the 
moment for Ireland to throw off the yoke if she 
found it galling. But it is a clear indication of 
the strength of the Anglo-Norman position in 
Ireland at this early period, and of the general 
acquiescence in Anglo-Norman rule, that, at a 
moment when the Regent was summoning every 
man he could obtain from the castles and garrisons 
far and near to aid the child-king, there was no 
rising of native tribes to expel the foreigner from 
Ireland, no attempt by the native chieftains to 
recover the independence they had lost. 

1 Among these conditions was an indemnity to Louis of 
10,000 marks. Towards finding this sum the king's advisers 
borrowed 6,000 marks from two merchants of St. Omer, 
and the Earl Marshal pledged all the lands he held of the 
king of France for the repayment of the debt due to them. 
For fuller particulars see Minority of Henry HI (Norgate), 
pp. 83-4. 

2I61-1 B 


Irish The Irish policy of the new government is 

policy of outlined in a letter to Geoffrey de Marisco, the 
Regency, justiciar, written (probably, as the phraseology 
indicates, by the legate Gualo) in the name of the 
young king soon after the Council of Bristol 
(November 11). After announcing the death of 
his father and his own coronation, the king 
proceeds to state that it was his wish to remove 
for ever and forget the angry feelings which 
formerly arose — whether with or without cause 
he knew not — between his father and some of 
the nobles, and if any such feelings existed 
against himself he was ready and anxious to 
purge them away, and by giving to every one by 
the advice of his subjects what reason should 
dictate, by uprooting evil customs, and by the 
introduction of liberties to restore the gracious 
days of his noble ancestors. Then, after alluding 
to the reissue of the Great Charter, the king- 
promised that his subjects in Ireland should 
enjoy the same liberties as had been granted to 
his subjects in England. 1 This promise was 
soon fulfilled by the extension of the Great 
Charter to Ireland. 2 It must be remembered 
that the Charter had been repudiated by John 
and denounced by the pope. Its re-enactment 
in England and its extension to Ireland at this 
moment — in each country in a somewhat curtailed 

1 Foedera, vol. i, pt. 1, p. 145. It further appears from 
this letter that the Irish Council had prayed that either the 
Queen-Mother or the king's brother might be sent to Ireland, 
thus early intimating a desire, often since vainly repeated, 
for the establishment of a royal residence there. 

2 Early Statutes (Berry), pp. 5-19. The charter was 
apparently sent to Ireland on February 6, 1217, with a 
covering letter to the archbishops, barons, &c, commending 
the loyalty which they had shown to the king's father and 
would show to the king: Patent Roll, 1 Hen. Ill, p. 31. 


form, it is true — must have been mainly due to 
the political sagacity of William Marshal, who, 
with the earls of Chester, Derby, and Albemarle, 
alone represented the nobility. The presence of 
the papal legate and eleven bishops, however, 
proves that the Church had come round to the 
liberal policy. Among the other magnates present 
were Walter de Lacy, lord of Meath, John 
Marshal, Earl William's nephew, and several of 
the lords of the Welsh border. 

Notwithstanding preoccupations in England the 
Regency during this period devoted much atten- 
tion to Ireland. The work of undoing John's Repara- 
confiscations, already commenced under the in- * 1 °? i f nd 
fluence of William Marshal in John's lifetime, tion. 
went on under the same influence with quick- 
ened pace in the early years of the new reign. 
The injury done to William himself was now 
redressed. The service which Meiler Fitz Henry 
owed for the earl's lands in Leinster, and which 
King John had taken into his hand as security for 
the earl's service, was once more ordered to be 
restored to the earl, ' who ', say the king's advisers 
in a memorable phrase, ' had proved himself in 
time of need like gold in the furnace.' * These 
were apparently the lands in Leix and Offaly, 
which, as we have seen, Meiler, with King John's 
concurrence, had held adversely to the earl and 
about which disturbances had arisen. 2 The fief 

1 Pat. Eoll, 1 Hen. Ill, m. 16," pp. 9-10: tanquam aurum 
infornacc, sic se in necessitate probavit. It is noteworthy that 
these two mandates are addressed by the young king himself 
to Geoffrey de Marisco and Meiler Fitz Henry and are sealed 
not, as usual, with the seal of William Marshal (who was an 
interested party), but with the seals of the Legate and the 
Bishop of Winchester, who take the opportunity of express- 
ing their high estimation of the Marshal. 

- Ante, vol. ii, pp. 210, 317-18. 

B 2 


of Leinster was now once more restored to its 
original extent. To Walter de Lacy, whose per- 
sonal loyalty was unquestioned, the king pro- 
visionally restored the castle of Drogheda and the 
land of Ardmayle (Co. Tipperary) to hold to the 
king's fourteenth year. Meanwhile a jury was to 
determine whether the castle of Drogheda be- 
longed to the king or to Walter. 1 Geoffrey de 
Marisco delayed to perform the mandate for livery. 
It was repeated more than once, and livery of the 
castle of Blathach near Limerick was also or- 
dered. 2 Ultimately, in August 1220 an arrange- 
ment was made by which the castle and vill of 
Drogheda (which presumably had been found to 
belong by right to Walter 3 ) were to be retained by 
the king, while Walter was to receive £20 a year 
as compensation. 4 Similarly, twenty marks a 
year were to be paid to Walter for the castle of 
Blathach, which it appears, when in the king's 
hand, had been granted to Archbishop Henry, 
and by him conferred on his niece Matilda before 
her marriage with William de Marisco. 5 In Uriel 
or Louth the castle of Dundalk was restored to 
Nicholas de Verdun, and seisin was also given to 

1 Pat. Koll, 1 Hen. Ill, m. 13 (p. 26). 

2 Ibid., 2 Hen. Ill, pt. 1, m. 3 (p. 157) : Castrum de 
Blathac iuxta Limeric. 

3 An inspeximus of Walter de Lacy's grant in 1194 of the 
law of Breteuil to his burgesses of Drogheda next the castle, 
i. e. ex parte Midie, will be found in Pat. Poll, 14 Edw. Ill, 
p. 2, m. 26. 

4 Close Roll, 4 Hen. Ill, p. 427 b. 

6 These compensatory payments were continued to Walter 
and his heirs for upwards of a century, before which time 
the true site of the castle of Blathach was forgotten and 
it was confused with the castle of Drogheda : see my notes 
in Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxix (1909), p. 40, and vol. xliv 
(1914), pp. 167-70. 


him of half the cantred of Ferrard. 1 Reginald de 
Braose, son and (since the death of his brother 
Giles, bishop of Hereford) heir of the ill-fated 
William de Braose, became reconciled to the new 
king, and in June 1217 the justiciar was ordered 
to give him the custody of the castle and city of 
Limerick and seisin of all the lands which be- 
longed to his father in Munster. 2 It is very 
doubtful, however, if anything was done in pur- 
suance of this order. It was repeated six months 
later. The original grant to William de Braose 
had been bitterly opposed by the Munster feoffees 
of whom Geoffrey was one, and now they would 
be equally opposed to its revival in favour of 
William's son. Certainly no restoration of the 
honour of Limerick was effected. 3 Lastly, within 
a month of the death of King John, an attempt 
was made to induce Hugh de Lacy, whom King 
John had hunted out of Ulster, to return to his 
allegiance. 4 But this had no effect, and though 

1 Patent Koll, 1 Hen. Ill, p. 74. - Ibid., pp. 72-3. 

3 I have found no subsequent trace of the De Braoses in 
Munster. Limerick Castle was one of those surrendered to 
the king by Geoffrey in 1221, and was committed to the 
custody of Richard de Burgh as seneschal of Munster in 
1223 : Pat. Rolls, 6 Hen. Ill, pp. 316, 375. The principal 
lands in question were in southern Tipperary, and had been 
regranted to Philip of Worcester (ante, vol. ii, pp. 175, 318). 
In 1218 they were taken into the king's hand, and eventually, 
in 1225, four of the five cantreds were granted to Philip's 
nephew, William of Worcester: Close Roll, 9 Hen. Ill, 
p. 35 b. Irish officials viewed with apprehension the recog- 
nition of the heirs of William de Braose : Royal Letters 
(Shirley), vol. i, p. 60, c. 1219. 

4 Pat. Roll, 1 Hen. Ill, m. 16, p. 4, dated November 18, 
1216, where the following remarkable admission of John's 
wrongdoing occurs : ' licet vero bone memorie I. pater noster 
in aliquo erga vos deliquerit, ipsius delicti debemus esse 
immunes nee delictum suum aliquatenus nobis debet im- 
putari '. 


some of the subordinate tenants were restored to 
their lands in Ulster, the lordship was for many 
years administered by royal seneschals, who held 
in the king's name the castles of Carrickfergus 
and Dun drum. Hugh de Lacy appears at this 
time to have been taking part in the crusade 
against the Albigenses, 1 and perhaps had more 
attractive booty in view than any to be found in 
Ireland ; but the failure to undo King John's 
work here was the cause of the first disturbance 
to the peace of the colony in the new reign. 
Geoffrey Geoffrey de Marisco or de Mareis (Marsh), whose 
deMareis, appointment as justiciar dated from 1215, was left 
undisturbed in his office under the new king. He 
was now one of the principal figures in Irish 
history. He held lands in County Limerick under 
the Crown, 2 and by his marriage with Eva de Ber- 
mingham, heiress of Offaly and widow of Gerald 
Fitz Maurice, he held that barony for his life under 
the lords of Leinster. 3 He was a strong sup- 
porter of the de Burghs and of all who had least 

1 He can be traced in this crusade at intervals from 1211 
to 1219 ; Kecueil des Historiens de la France, vol. xix, 
pp. 145, 170, 181, and cf. Ann. Mon., vol. iii, p. 75. William 
de Lacy, Hugh's half-brother, appears to have taken posses- 
sion, presumably on Hugh's behalf, of the castles of Kath 
and Carlingford, but early in 1217 he was ordered to deliver 
them to Geoffrey de Marisco, the justiciar (Pat. Koll, 
1 Hen. Ill, m. 13, p. 26), and this appears to have been 

2 See ante, vol. ii, p. 169. 

3 For the evidence as to the marriages of Evade Bermingham 
and the devolution of the barony of Offaly see the writer's 
paper on ' The Fitz Geralds, Barons of Offaly ', in Journal 
R. A. S. I., vol. xliv (1914), pp. 99-105. Geoffrey also held 
Holywood in Wicklow and Killorglin in Kerry ; Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. i, no. 2228. There was a dispute with the 
Crown as to Holywood (' Seinbois ' or ' de Sancto Bosco ') ; 
ibid., nos. 139, 276. 


scruple in their methods of extending English 
rule over Ireland, but he was jealous of the power 
in Ireland of the great lords of the Welsh March. 
He seems to have been a crafty but plausible man, 
who generally succeeded in getting his way with 
the king and council even after their doubts as to 
his policy and suspicions as to his integrity had 
been aroused. It is clear that the Regency was 
not altogether satisfied with Geoffrey's adminis- 
tration, and it endeavoured to provide a check on 
his action and to secure a better control over the 
revenue of Ireland, all of which passed through 
his hands. There is, indeed, evidence that he 
gave some of the escheats of the Crown to his own 
friends, and that he delayed to execute and even 
ignored some of the direct mandates of the distant 
English Government. In April 1217 it was 
ordered that the rents and fines of Ireland should 
be received only at the Exchequer, and should be 
safely kept by the treasurer until the king other- 
wise directed, 1 and about the same time Henry de 
Londres, Archbishop of London, was sent to Ire- 
land ' to expedite the king's business there ', and 
Geoffrey was ordered ' to abide by the archbishop's 
counsel, without whose assent nothing was to be 
done'. 2 As may be easily understood, relations 
between the justiciar and the archbishop soon 
became strained. A year later Geoffrey was repri- 
manded for not coming to England as required 
'to render homage and certify concerning the 
state of Ireland ', and he was again bidden to come 
and bring as much money as possible towards 
liquidating the debt owed to the dauphin and the 
arrears of tribute due to the Pope. 3 Geoffrey, 

1 Eot. Claus., 1 Hen. Ill, p. 306. 

2 Patent Eolls, 1 Hen. Ill, m. 8, p. 57. 

3 Kot. Claus., 2 Hen. Ill, p. 376 b. In July 1218 a sum of 


however, on one excuse or another, seems to have 
postponed going to England until August 1220, 
when a stringent agreement was entered into 
between the king and Geoffrey for the future 
regulation of his office. 1 

By this convention, which was made in the 
presence of Pandulf, the new papal legate, Henry 
de Londres, Peter des Roches, and others of the 
King's Council, account was to be made in future 
at the Exchequer for the escheats, wards, fines, 
gifts, tallages, reliefs, and aids accruing in Ireland, 
and the proceeds thereof were to be rendered to 
the king at his mandate. Out of the assessed 
revenue and other profits of Ireland Geoffrey was 
to maintain the custody of the king's land and 
castles there, under the surveyance and by the 
counsel of the Archbishop of Dublin, Thomas 
Fitz Adam, and Richard de Burgh, and account at 
the Exchequer for any surplus revenue and profits ; 
and the clerks of the king appointed for the pur- 
pose were to keep a counter roll of all these 
things. The constables, appointed by the justiciar 
to the king's castles, were to swear fealty to the 
king, and to give hostages into the hands of the 
archbishop and the Earl Marshal ; while the jus- 
ticiar gave his two sons as hostages, and pledged 
all his lands as security for his observance of the 
Geoffrey Geoffrey, however, failed to perform his part 
mLed °f tnese stipulations, and within a year he was 

nearly £500 was sent to the English exchequer by Thomas 
Fitz Adam and Richard de Felde, Crown officials in Ireland, 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 843. This probably represented 
the proceeds of the special aid imposed in the previous 
November on the kings of Ireland and the tenants in chief ; 
ibid., no. 810. 

1 Rot. Claus., 4 Hen. Ill, m. 3 d, pp. 463-5. 


superseded by Archbishop Henry. On July 17, 
1221, the king, or rather the regency, still 
dominated by Pandulf, the papal legate, announced 
to the Irish kings and tenants in chief Geoffrey's 
dismissal and the appointment of the archbishop 
in a remarkable letter containing the following 
statements : that since the death of King John 
the king had received nothing from the demesne- 
lands or assessed rents or escheats of Ireland ; 
that Geoffrey had failed in his undertakings to 
restrict the expenditure of the keepers of the 
king's castles and to give security for their 
fidelity; and that instead of the revenue of 
Ireland being paid into the exchequer to be 
dealt with as the king should order, Geoffrey 
had caused it to be received in his chamber and 
had disposed of it more at his own will than 
according to the king's commands. 1 

That it should have been thought necessary to 
give such justificatory reasons for Geoffrey's 
supersession suggests that some opposition was 
apprehended in Ireland. In England at this 
time the regency experienced considerable diffi- 
culty in recovering the king's castles from the 
custody of those to whom they had been entrusted 
by King John, and a similar opposition may have 
been anticipated in Ireland. None however 
occurred. Before the end of October, Geoffrey, 
by his agents, formally surrendered, to the king 
the following castles : Dublin, Limerick, Roscrea, 
Clonmacnois, Athlone, Drogheda, Dundrum, Car- 
lingford, Dundonald, Balimichgan(Ballymaghan?), 2 

1 Rot. Claus., 5 Hen. Ill, p. 476 b. 

" This castle was presumably near the ecclesia de 
Balimichgan in the deanery of Blaethwyc (Newto wnards) : 
see Eeeves, Eccl. Antiquities, p. 12, where the editor says 
that the church, of which there are no remains, is known to 


Carrickfergus, and Antrim, and the king, on the 
other hand, c for the faithful service which Geoffrey 
rendered to King John and himself ', quit-claimed 
to Geoffrey the sum of 1,080 marks and all quest 
touching his office. 1 Geoffrey was, in fact, absolved 
from any supposed reflection on his loyalty, but 
his supersession marks an attempt to obtain a 
better control over the revenue of the Crown, and 
in particular, through a reformed exchequer, a 
more adequate account of receipts and expenditure. 
Arch- To this task the new justiciar set himself 

bishop w ith inconvenient energy. He was immediately 
justiciar, ordered to take into the king's hand all the king's 
demesnes and escheats, both new and old, unless 
the holders had special letters of the king or 
charters of his predecessors. 2 It was perhaps 
owing to his efforts to perform this mandate that 
the archbishop received the nickname ' Scorche- 
vileyn ' or ' Flay the Serf ', by which he was 
known to contemporaries in Ireland. According 
to the story, as we first have it in a fifteenth- 
century compilation, the archbishop summoned 
his tenants to answer by what tenure they held 
of him. They accordingly produced their letters 
and charters, which he straightway threw into the 
fire. Hence the freeholders used always to call 
him Scorchevileyn. 3 

have ' occupied the ground at present under the orchard 
which belongs to the Moat House '. This is two miles south 
of Holy wood. The castle was probably a ' mote-castle '. 

1 Pat. Koll, 6 Hen. Ill, m. 6, p. 31G. 

2 Rot. Claus., 6 Hen. Ill, p. 478 b. 

3 Laud MS. Annals, Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, vol. ii, 
p. 312. The sobriquet has been written by later writers 
• Scorchvillaine ' and ' Burnebill ' from a supposed literal 
reference to the burning of the deeds, but the first element 
in the name is clearly the Old French escorcher {excorticare, 
1 to flay '), and it was the tenants who were metaphorically 


To Archbishop Henry is ascribed the building 
of Dublin Castle. He was certainly compensated 
for the loss of some churches, the sites of which 
were included in the castle-area, but, as we have 
seen, Meiler Fitz Henry was ordered to build the 
keep of a strong castle in Dublin in 1204, and 
the custody of the castle of Dublin was given 
to the archbishop on his first taking office in 
1213. Probably the building of the enceinte 
occupied several years. 1 Archbishop Henry's 
charter (to which we have already referred), 
founding and endowing the offices of dean, pre- 
centor, chancellor, and treasurer, at the collegiate 
church of St. Patrick, thus giving it the status of 
a cathedral, must be ascribed to the year 12 19. 2 
The archbishop was a zealous upholder of clerical 
privileges and, in particular, of those appertaining 
to his own See. He endeavoured to extend the 
jurisdiction of his Ecclesiastical Court and his 
liberty of St. Sepulchre, and in doing so, both 
before and after he was made justiciar, infringed 
the liberties of the citizens of Dublin. 3 For this, 
in 1223, he was severely reprimanded by the 

Hayed or despoiled. Curiously enough the archbishop's niece 
Matilda, wife of William de Mariscis, is called in a Plea Koll 
of the time of Edward II 'Matilda Scorchevyleyn ', thus 
showing that the nickname was not confined to the arch- 
bishop personally. See Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, vol. ii, 
Preface, p. cxxii, rote 4. Dr. Berry would connect the 
sobriquet with the Old French vent escorchevel, 'a wind which 
would skin a calf (Journ. K. S. A. I., vol. xxii, p. 178) ; but 
the second element would seem to be ' vilein ' (villanus). 

1 Ante, vol. ii, p. 306. From the sheriff's account for 
1228-9 it appears that works of construction at the towers of 
Dublin Castle were still going on ; 35th Rep. D. K., p. 30. 

- Ante, vol. ii, p. 63. The cathedral establishment was 
confirmed by Honorius III in 1221 ; Theiner's Vetera 
Monumenta, no. xlv, p. 18. 

:i Royal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, p. 108. 


king, 1 and the matters in dispute were settled 
next year by agreement between the archbishop 
and the citizens, mainly in accordance with the 
contentions of the latter. 2 He was also very 
tenacious of the property of the See, which he 
left much richer than he found it. He came 
into conflict with Thomas Fitz Adam, the king's 
forester, concerning the forest of Coillacht, a 
mountainous region on the southern border of 
County Dublin, which the archbishop claimed 
against the king and eventually succeeded in 
retaining for his See. 3 Indeed, nearly the whole 
mountainous district from the border of County 
Dublin to the lands attached to the fiefs of 
Wicklow, Arklow, Imaile, Naas, and Rathmore, 
was afterwards, in 1229, freed from the forest laws 
and acknowledged to belong to the archbishopric. 4 
The possessions of the united Sees of Dublin and 
Glendalough were very extensive, and during the 
thirteenth century of increasing value. At the 
death of Archbishop Henry in 1228 the income 
of the See-lands seems to have been about £600, 5 
while at the commencement of the reign of 
Edward I it averaged about £1,250. G The prin- 
cipal manors at the earlier period were Swords, 

1 Close Roll, 7 Hen. Ill, p. 570. 
" ; Chartae Priv. et Immun., p. 20. 

3 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 892, 926, 932-3 and 1317. 
The land of Coillacht had been expressly granted to the 
archbishop by King John in 1213 in baroniam, on condition 
' that the king, when he goes to Ireland, may exchange it for 
land of the same value ' ; ibid., no. 475, and see ante, vol. ii, 
pp. 71-3. 

4 Ibid., vol. i, nos. 1757, 1769. The king, however, 
retained the park or forest of Glencree, which was part of 
the territory of Obrun (in Briuiri) 

6 Irish Pipe Poll, 13 Hen. Ill, 35th Rep. D. K., p. 32. 
6 Ibid., 36th Rep. D. K., pp. 36, 41. 


Finglas, St. Kevins (afterwards called St. Sepulchre, 
near the city), Shankill, ' Salvum Keyvini ' (after- 
wards Castlekevin, near Glendalough), Tallaght, 
Clondalkin, Newtown, Ballymore, ' Bretaschia ' 
(now Brittas), and Rathcoole. 

Meanwhile up to the death of William Marshal William 
no serious trouble anywhere arose. The earl Marshal 
himself, indeed, had a dispute with AlbinO'Mulloy, Bishop of 
bishop of Ferns, concerning some lands alleged Ferns. 
by the bishop to have been wrongfully appro- 
priated by the earl. The bishop prosecuted his 
claim at Rome, whither he went to attend the 
Fourth Lateran Council, and he obtained from 
Innocent III, shortly before his death, a letter 
directing the archbishops of Tuam and Dublin to 
warn the earl and his accomplices to restore the 
possessions and property of the church of Ferns 
under threat of excommunication. 1 We are no- 
where directly told where these lands lay, but it 
appears probable that they included the lands 
which, in 1227, Philip de Prendergast, 'in pursu- 
ance of a decree of the ecclesiastical court and 
compelled by the authority of the Apostolic See, 
resigned for peace's sake ' into the hands of John 
de St. John, successor of Albin O'Mulloy in the 
bishopric of Ferns. These lands were in the 
neighbourhood of Templeshanbo and Ferns, 
where two of the (subsequent) episcopal manors 
lay. 2 For the moment the suit against Earl 

1 See the archbishops' letter reciting that from the Pope, 
preserved amongst the evidences of the monastery of 
Reading and transcribed in Journ. R. S. A. I., 1864-6, 
p. 138. Honorius III, in 1218, bade the parties come to 
an agreement : Theiner Vetera Monumenta, p. 6 ; and prob- 
ably the papal excommunication was never pronounced. 

2 A deed by Gerald de Prendergast confirming his father 
Philip's agreement was enrolled by Sir H. Wallop in 1595 
(Pat. Roll (Ireland) 37 Eliz.j. For a full translation see 


William was respited on the ground that the 
king, who would be called to warrant the earl's 
title, was under age. 1 Many years later, however, 
after the death of the earl, and the death without 
issue of all his five sons, Matthew Paris tells a 
story which attributes the extinction of the family 
in the male line to the maledictions of the 
defrauded bishop. While, therefore, we must 
regard some of the details of the story as an 
ex post facto invention, the story is so character- 
istic of a mediaeval Irish ecclesiastic, and fits so 
well into authentic facts, that it seems worth 

Under the year 1245, when all the sons of Wil- 
liam Marshal were dead without issue, Matthew 
Paris writes that after the death of the earl [1219], 
the Bishop of Ferns came to the king and com- 
plained of the injury done to him by the earl in un- 
justly depriving him of two manors. For this he 
had excommunicated the earl, and he now begged 
the king to restore the manors to him, so that the 
deceased might obtain absolution. The king then 
asked the bishop to go to the earl's tomb and 
absolve him, promising that he would himself 
see that satisfaction was given to the bishop. 
The bishop then went to the tomb, and, as though 
addressing a living person, said : ' O William, 
who doth lie buried here bound in the bonds of 
excommunication, if what thou hast wrongfully 
taken from my church be restored to me by the 
king or by thy heir I absolve thee. If not, I 
confirm thy sentence, so that, wrapt up in thy 
sins, thou mayst for ever remain damned in hell.' 

Journ. E. S. A. I., 1864-6, pp. 147-8 note, and for the 
present writer's comments thereon see Hore's Hist, of 
Wexford, vol. vi, pp. 342-5. 

1 Pat. Koll, 2 Hen. Ill, pp. 148-9. 


The king was angry at the bishop's severity, but 
nevertheless endeavoured to induce the earl's 
eldest son and heir to restore the manors. He 
and his brothers, however, proved obdurate. 
Whereupon the bishop, enraged all the more, 
confirmed the sentence, and prophesied the ex- 
tinction in a single generation of the earl's name, 
and the scattering of his inheritance within the 
king's lifetime. 1 

The death of the five sons of the earl, one after 
the other, without issue, was indeed such an 
unexpected event, and one so fraught with bad 
consequences to the English in Leinster, that we 
cannot wonder if it was regarded as having been 
brought about by supernatural means. 

In August 1220, Walter de Lacy, who had now Walter de 
been re-seised of substantially all his lands j^y *J 
and castles, came once more to Ireland. The 1220° ' 
castle of Trim, the principal seat of his liberty, is 
stated to have been built in this year, and it 
seems possible that the great stone keep still 
standing there, though afterwards extensively 
remodelled, dates from this time. 2 The gateway, 
towers, and enclosing walls, however, are clearly 
of later construction. But the lord of Meath did 
not confine his activities to strengthening his 
position in Meath. He also made an attempt to 
dominate Breffny, where it appears his vassals 
had already effected some settlements. This 
district, comprising the present counties of Lei- 
trim and Cavan, at the time of the invasion was 
the principality of Tiernan O'Rourke, Dermot 

1 Matt. Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. iv, pp. 493-4. 

2 See ante, vol. ii, p. 249. The keep of Warkworth Castle, 
however, the plan of which is there compared to that of 
Trim, is referred by good authorities to about the year 1400 
or even later : ' Border Strongholds ' by Cadwalader Bates ; 
and see Early Norman Castles (Armitage), p. 377. 


Mac Murrough's arch-enemy, but afterwards it was 
divided between the ruling septs of O'Rourke and 
O'Reilly. The territory of the former comprised 
County Leitrim and the two adjoining baronies of 
County Cavan, while the remainder of County 
Cavan was O'Reilly's country. In the past the 
chieftains of Breffny sometimes gave hostages 
to O'Conor and sometimes to O'Donnell, but more 
often were practically independent. 
The Now it seems that from an early period some 

Nangles of the Normans of Meath had a footing in Breffny. 
Breffn Before 1196, Gilbert de Angulo, or de Nangle, to 
whom the elder Hugh de Lacy had granted Nobber 
in Meath, held some land ' beyond the lakes of 
Therebrun' (Tirbriuin), meaning probably Lough 
Oughter in Cavan, and on his outlawry in that 
year John, Count of Mortain, gave the same to 
Walter de Lacy. 1 In the same year the English 
of Meath made a hosting into Breffny, but were 
defeated by Ualgharg O'Rourke. 2 In 1214, after 
the death of Gilbert de Nangle, we find his 
nephew Phillip, now lord of Navan, established 
in the south of Breffny, where his lands were 
plundered by O'Rourke. 3 Also the castle of 
Kilmore in Cavan was one of those restored to 
Walter de Lacy after the confiscation of 1210. 4 
At that period it must have been a seignorial 
castle of some importance, but its origin is 
obscure. 5 It was near Lough Oughter, and its 

1 Gormanston Register, f. 5 dors. 2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1196. 

3 Ibid., 1214. The Four Masters in the parallel entry 
call this territory Crich Cairpri, which O'Donovan takes to 
be Carbury in Co. Sligo, but it was clearly Crich Cairpri in 
Tethba, the region about Sliabh Cairpri on the border of 
Counties Leitrim and Longford. 

4 Kot. Pat. 17 John, p. 148 b. 

5 O'Reilly of Tirbrun, having been dispossessed byTiernan 
O'Rourke, consistently supported Strongbo w (Song of Dermot, 


site is probably marked by the mote — exceptional 
in this territory — in what was afterwards the 
episcopal demesne at Kilmore. 1 In 1219 O'Donnell 
led an army into Breffny and took hostages from 
both O'Rourke and O'Reilly, 2 and it was probably 
in consequence of the submission of these chief- 
tains to O'Donnell and to support the settlers in 
Breffny that the lord of Meath now interfered 

According to the Irish annals, Walter de Lacy 
in 1220 'performed a great hosting to the crannog O'Reilly's 
of O'Reilly. He went upon it and obtained crann °g- 
hostages and great power'. 3 A crannog was, 
properly speaking, an artificial island, and it was 
usually formed by driving one or more circles of 
piles into the bed of a shallow lake and filling up 
the interior with layers of stone, marl, and rods, 
until a solid platform arose over the surface of the 
water. O'Reilly's crannog appears to have been 
in Lough Oughter in County Cavan, where the 
ruins of an early castle known as Cloch Oughter 
still stand. This castle is described as 'circular 
in plan, the internal diameter being 35 feet 
and the thickness of the outer wall 7 feet '. The 
principal entrance ' was at a height of 15 feet 
from the ground', and appears to have been 
defended by 'the usual corbelled projection' 
above. The island on which the castle stands is 
an artificial island or ancient crannog, 190 by 
140 feet— that is to say, ' stakes or small piles are 
visible all round its margin, and even some of the 
horizontal beams are exposed to view when the 

11. 1750 and note, 1788, 1909). He was probably reinstated, 
and it may have been through his influence that the Normans 
first got a footing in Breffny. 

1 See English Historical Keview, vol. xxii (1907), p. 342. 

- Four Masters, 1219. 3 Ann. Loch Co, 1220. 

2251-1 C 


water is at summer level V Of course there may 
be, and probably is, a rock or other solid founda- 
tion beneath the castle. The ground at the base 
of the walls is about 10 feet above the water. As 
we shall see this castle comes prominently into 
notice (together with the castle of Kilmore) in 
1224, and is mentioned on several subsequent 
occasions. 2 It seems probable that it was erected 
by the de Lacy's at about this time, in connexion 
with the movement to dominate Breffny. 
Attempt That nothing less was intended is evident from 
oSrke. a deed made h J Walter de Lacy next year (1221), 
by which he purported to grant to Philip de Nangle 
all the land which Ualgharg O'Rourke held in 
Breffny from Lough Oughter to the Shannon, and 
(apparently) from some place on Lough Erne 
(presumably the southern end of the Upper Lake) 
to Slieve Carbury in the northern extremity of 
County Longford.' 1 This included at least the 
southern half of County Leitrim with the barony 
of Tullyhunco in County Cavan. This was no 

1 For plan and description see Journ. K. S. A. I., vol. xxi 
(1890-1), p. 294. 

2 It is usually called Clock locha uachtair, or ' the Stone 
keep of Lough Oughter'. It is mentioned in 1327 (Four 
Masters), in 1369 and 1390 (Ann. Loch Ce), and in 1487 
(Ann. Ulst. ). It was the castle in which Bishop Bedell was 
confined in 1641. It was no doubt more than once restored. 

:i This deed was enrolled in 32 Elizabeth : Cal. Pat. and 
Close Kolls, Ireland (Morrin), p. 197. It was witnessed by- 
James, Legate and Penitentiary of the Apostolic See, then 
in Ireland, Geoffrey de Marisco, justiciar, &c, which fixes 
the date (1221). See Ann. Ulst. 1221 and note. The names 
of the extreme boundaries and of the included territories are 
given. As printed, they are corrupt, but the territories 
included Muinter Eolais (barony of Mohill), Magh Nissi (in 
barony of Leitrim), Muinter Cinaith (in Drumahaire), Cenel 
Luachain (in Carrigallen), and Tellach Dunchadha (Tully- 
hunco in Co. Cavan). 


doubt a ' speculative grant ' to induce the lord of 
Navan, who had hereditary claims in part of this 
region, to endeavour to substitute Norman for 
Celtic domination over the whole of it. It was 
provided by the same deed that William de Lacy 
should build three stone castles for Philip, and 
that when the lands should be let to farm, Philip 
should render the service of three knights. As 
we afterwards hear of ' Mac Costello's castle in 
Breffny ' 1 we may infer that this undertaking was 
in part at least accomplished. 

To complete, so far as our scanty materials 
allow, the story of this attempted settlement in 
Breffny by 'the sons of Jocelin', we may here 
mention that Philip de Nangle was followed in 
this district by his son Miles, who married a 
daughter of Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster. 2 In 
1245 Miles built a castle at Ath-an-chip, a ford 
on the Shannon somewhere near Carrick. In 
1247 he expelled Cathal Mac Rannell from the 
woods of Conmaicne in the south of Leitrim, but 
with the whole clan Costello was himself expelled 
in the same year by the sons of Aedh O'Conor. 
We hear no more of the Mac Costellos in County 

' Ann. Loch Ce, 1242. Members of this family were 
called by the Irish Mac Goisdealbh, anglicized Mac Costello, 
i. e. son of Jocelin. The eponymous Jocelin came from 
Nangle or Angle in Pembrokeshire and was enfeoffed in 
lands at Navan (ante, vol. ii, p. 84), where the name Nangle 
(in Latin documents de Angiilo) survived. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1253. The relationship of the various 
early members of this family is rather obscure, but from 
Plea Roll, 16 Edw. II (see Betham's Excerpta, vol. ii, p. 224, 
in Ulster's Office), it would seem that this Miles de Nangle and 
his father Philip, son of William, son of Jocelin, were on 
the senior line of the lords of Navan, and that the line of 
Castlemore Co. Mayo separated from that of Navan in the 
sons of Miles. 

C 2 


Leitrim, 1 but they had already been enfeoffed in 
County Mayo, where they held their own for 
three centuries and gave their Irish name to the 
barony of Costello in that county. 
Athleague In the same year (1221), Walter de Lacy 
Castle. attempted to build a castle at Athleague, where 
there was a ford across the Shannon just above 
the entrance of the river into Lough Ree. The 
name is partly preserved in Ballyleague, as the 
western suburb of Lanesborough is called. A 
castle here would have been a protection to the 
southern part of Annaly (County Longford), where 
some Norman settlements had been made. The 
Connaught men, however, with whom there were 
at this time peaceful relations, naturally resented 
the presence of another castle on the Shannon. 
They marched into Annaly and obtained the 
abandonment of the castle as the price of peace. 2 

1 Nevertheless three centuries later Sir Thomas Nangle, 
baron of Navan, in a plaint before the king's council stated 
that Mc Kannell refused to pay him ' 100 kyne yearly, with 
a knight's fees ', which the baron's ancestors claimed out of 
Muinter Eolais, and ultimately a decree was made by consent 
that Mc Eannell should pay to the baron a yearly rent of £6 
out of the lands : Pat. Koll (Ireland), 5 Edw. VI (Morrin), 
p. 259. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1221. A castle was, however, erected at 
Athleague by William de Lacy and the English of Meath in 
1227: Ann Clon. It was broken in 1271 : Ann. Loch Ce. Lands, 
now represented by Keel and Clooncallow in the barony of 
Shrule, were granted by the elder Hugh de Lacy to William le 
Petit: see the charter transcribed Songof Dermot, p. 310. Here 
was built the Caislen mm, now Newcastle, mentioned in this 
very year 1221, Ann. Loch Ce. We also hear of the castle 
of Ard dbla, now Lisardowlan, a few miles east of Longford : 
see Journ. E. S. A. I. (1910), p. 223, for the mote site here. 
Annaly (Anghaile) was undoubtedly part of the ancient 
kingdom of Meath. The castle of Moybrachry or Street, 
built bv Herbert de la Mare, was also in existence. For the 
site and remarkable key found there: see ibid., pp. 214-22. 


Meanwhile no restitution had been made to Negotia- 
Walter de Lacy's brother Hugh, the dispossessed H°" s h w { th 
Earl of Ulster. Negotiations went on from time Lacy. 
to time, but without result. In September, 1221, 
a safe-conduct was given to Hugh and his retinue 
in coming to England to the king. 1 Fifteen 
months later the terms offered to him by ' the 
majority of the king's council ' were that he should 
have the lands which Walter his brother gave to 
him (Nobber and Ratoath), and the lands which 
formed the marriage portion of his wife, Lesceline 
de Verdun (in the north of Co. Louth). 2 Hugh, 
however, was not satisfied with these terms, and 
demanded the restoration of Ulster as well. The 
king in council offered to commit the land of 
Ulster and its castles to the Earl of Chester, 
Walter de Lacy, and others for five years, pro- 
vided they would pledge their lands to restore 
them to the king at the end of the term, if the 
king so pleased. The proposed guarantors, how- 
ever, were unwilling to take the risk, and nothing 
was done. By this time, June 1223, Hugh had 
lost patience and was plotting to invade Ireland. 
The king sent to the Archbishop of Dublin the 
Pope's letter of excommunication against Hugh 
and his accomplices if he should invade the land, 
and, what was more useful, gave orders to victual 
and man the castles of Ulster." 

1 Pat. Roll, 5 Hen. Ill, p. 301. 

2 Rot. Claus., 7 Hen. Ill, p. 527 b, and see ante, vol. ii, 
pp. 121-3. 

3 Ibid., p. 549 b. William de Serland was given the 
custody of Carrickfergus and appointed seneschal of Ulster : 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, 1124. John de Tiwe was given 
the custody of Dundrum (Rath) (ibid. 1128), but was after- 
wards taken prisoner: ibid. 1162. In October 1223, John 
Marshal, cousin of Earl William Marshal, was given the 
custody of Ulster with the king's castles therein : ibid. 1140. 


Hugh uses It was soon after this, in the latter half of the 
1223* y ear 1^23, that Hugh de Lacy crossed over to 
Ireland to assert his claims by the strong hand. 1 
He seems to have gone to Meath, where, aided by 
William de Lacy and other local lords, he ravaged 
the country and even threatened Dublin, so that, 
it is said, Archbishop Henry was obliged to pur- 
chase a truce to the following summer. 2 
Cathai's About this time, when Hugh de Lacy was 
theklng. active in Meath, Cathal Crovderg O'Conor, King 
of Connaught, wrote a remarkable letter to King 
Henry, which has been calendared as follows : — 
' Hugh de Lacy, enemy of the king, of the king's 
father, and of Cathal, whom King John by Cathai's 
advice expelled from Ireland, has without con- 
sulting the king come to that country to disturb 
it. Against Hugh's coming Cathal remains, as 
the Archbishop of Dublin knows, firm in his fidelity 

In March 1224 Roger Waspail was made seneschal of Ulster : 
ibid. 1158. 

J Ann. Mon., vol. iii, p. 85. There is confusion in the 
Irish annals as to the date of Hugh's arrival and some con- 
sequent uncertainty as to the order of his proceedings. The 
entry in Ann. Ulst. 1222 (which is copied in Ann. Loch Ce 
and Four Masters, 1221) is clearly misplaced and relates to 
the events of 1223-4. It is the only entry in Ann. Ulst. 
and Four Masters touching the war. The entry is virtually 
repeated in Ann. Loch Ce at the true date, 1224, and refers 
to the close of William Marshal's campaign, the date of 
which is fixed to the summer of that year. Hugh can hardly 
have landed until after June 1223, when orders were given 
to resist his coming : Rot. Claus., 7 Hen. Ill, p. 549 b. There 
is no earlier mention in the records of Hugh's activity in 

2 The statement in the Annals of Dunstable (Ann. Mon., 
vol. iii, p. 85), that the archbishop purchased a truce in 
1223, is perhaps supported by entries in the Close Rolls to 
the effect that the archbishop borrowed .£366 from the citi- 
zens of Dublin ' to maintain the war against Hugh ' : Cal. 
Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 1265, 1463. 


to the king. But the closer Cathal adheres to the 
king's service, the more he is harassed by those 
who pretend fealty to the king, and, as the jus- 
ticiar knows, shamefully fail against the enemy ; 
so that between Hugh de Lacy on the one hand 
and those who pretend to be faithful on the other, 
Cathal is placed in great difficulty. Wherefore, 
unless it is better that the peace of Ireland should 
be subverted by this disturber and by default of 
some of the king's subjects, Cathal prays the 
king to send a force thither to restrain Hugh's 
insolence.' 1 

By ' those who pretend fealty to the king ', but 
who nevertheless harassed Cathal, the King of 
Connaught may perhaps have had in view Richard 
de Burgh and his supporters. Cathal had indeed 
good reason to regard Richard de Burgh as his 
enemy. At this time Richard was again urging 
his claim to Connauo-ht under his charter of 1215, 
or at least seeking compensation from the king in 
lieu thereof, and the king, to satisfy Richard, had 
ordered the justiciar to press Cathal for an in- 
creased rent. 2 But, as another letter to be pre- 
sently mentioned shows, Cathal also viewed with 
apprehension the attempt on behalf of Walter de 
Lacy to annex Breffny, the overlordship of which 
the kings of Connaught had disputed with the 
O'Donnells. The immediate answer to Cathal's 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 1174, where the letter is 
ascribed to ' about March 1224 '. also Royal Letters, vol. i. 
p. 183 (Shirley), where the editor, probably relying on the 
Annals of Ulster, dates the letter May 1222. It must, how- 
ever, be dated after June 1223, when the first intimation 
appears on the Rolls that Hugh was plotting to invade 

- Rot. Claus., 8 Hen. Ill, p. 584. For the two inconsistent 
grants of Connaught of 1215 see ante, vol. ii, p. 285 and 


letter was a renewed grant of protection ' to endure 
so long as the King of Connaught should faith- 
fully serve the king V 

Early in 1224 Cathal, evidently feeling his end 
approaching, sent another letter to the king, 
accompanied by a recommendatory letter from 
Archbishop Henry. In this letter, after reaffirm- 
ing his fidelity, Cathal prays for a renewal of the 
charter of Connaught to his son Aedh in fee. The 
dying king was evidently desirous of securing the 
land to his own line on feudal terms, foreseeing, 
no doubt, that Aedh's succession would meet with 
opposition, from different motives, at the hands of 
both English and Irish. He further prays ' that 
the king will deliver to his son the land of 
Ui Briuin, Conmaicne, and the Caladh (Breffny 
and part of County Longford), detained by William 
de Lacy, Cathal's enemy and kinsman of the 
king's enemy'. 2 On June 14, presumably on the 
advice of William Marshal, now justiciar, the 
king ordered seisin of these lands to be given to 
Aedh ' for his maintenance on the king's service ', 3 
but this order was certainly not carried out, and 
in all probability was not communicated to Aedh. 

Meantime, on May 28, 1224, Cathal died 4 , and 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 1164 (March 5, 1224). 

2 Ibid., no. 1184 ; Boyal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, p. 223. 
Ui Briuin was the generic name for O'Eourke's and O'Eeilly's 
territory ; Conmaicne (Maighe Eein) seems to have been 
another name for Muinter Eolais, or Mc Eannell's country ; 
and the Caladh was co-extensive with the barony of Eathcline, 
Co. Longford. 

3 Eot. Claus., 8 Hen. Ill, p. 604 b. 

4 Ann. Loch Ce, 1224, where there is an extraordinary 
eulogy on Cathal. But even this is surpassed in a tract 
ascribed to Torna O'Mulcoury, where, among many other 
things, it is said that 'he was a man who burned the greatest 
number of homesteads and took the greatest number of preys 


his son Aedh assumed the government of Con- Aedh, son 
naught. One of Aedh's first acts was to lead a of CathaL 
hosting into Annaly, take and burn the castle of 
Ard-abhla, and ' kill every one whom he found 
in it, both Foreigners and Gael '. The site of this 
castle is marked by a mote and bailey earthwork 
called Lisardowling, about five miles east of the 
town of Longford. 1 It was in O'Farrell's country, 
or Annaly, and may have been recently erected 
by the English. By this action, characteristic of 
a newly-made Celtic chieftain not quite certain of 
his popularity, Aedh put himself in the wrong 
with the English crown and gave his enemies 
a handle against him. 

To deal with the transgressions of Walter de 
Lacy's men of Meath 'in harbouring Hugh de 
Lacy, pillaging and burning the king's land, kill- 
ing and holding his men to ransom', the king's 
council at first adopted the strange expedient of 
employing Walter de Lacy against his kith and 
kin. In March 1224 it was agreed that Walter 
should deliver to the king Ludlow Castle in 
England and Trim Castle in Ireland to hold for 
two years, that Walter should go to Ireland and 
with the king's force fight the transgressors in 
Meath, that the king should hold their lands when 
recovered for a year and a day, and that after- 
wards it should be done to Walter as the king's 
court should decide. For the purpose of fighting 
the king's enemies Walter was to have free access 
to the castle of Trim. 2 

from both the English and the Irish who opposed him. . . . 
It was he who blinded, killed, and chastised the greatest 
number of rebels and enemies. He was the most gentle 
and peaceable of all the kings that ever reigned in Ireland '. 

1 Journ. K. S. A. L, vol. xl (1910), p. 223. 

2 Pat. Rolls, 8 Hen. Ill, p. 483. 


shal II, 

His dis- 

Before any important steps were taken to carry 
out this agreement the conduct of operations was 
placed in abler and more independent hands. On 
May 2 William Marshal the younger, Earl of 
Pembroke, one of the foremost commanders of 
the time, was appointed justiciar in the place 
of the aged Archbishop of Dublin, and on June 19 
he landed at Waterford. Among the followers 
whom he brought with him from England was 
John d'Erlee, his father's faithful vassal and vir- 
tual biographer. On August 5 the earl sent a 
military dispatch x to the king, which has happily 
been preserved, and from it, supplemented by 
some other records, we can form an authentic and 
fairly adequate idea of the campaign. 

From Waterford the earl proceeded to Dublin, 
collecting no doubt on the way his Leinster 
vassals. At Dublin he was invested with the 
office of justiciar by the archbishop. His first 
difficulty was to provide for his army. Twelve 
citizens of Dublin had already lent the archbishop 
£366 to aid the king in defending Ireland against 
Hugh de Lacy,- and the archbishop had also taken 
300 marks which had been deposited in the cathe- 
dral of Dublin. 5 These sums, however, appear to 
have been already spent. The earl got 600 head 
of cattle and 40 marks from the Cistercians of 
Mellifont and £200 from the same Order in 
Dublin, 4 but as he says that he spent during the 
siege of Trim upwards of £16 a day these items 
did not go very far. 

1 Koyal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, pp. 500-3. 

2 Orders were given in 1225 and 1226 to repay this sum 
(Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 1265 and 1463). In 1229 the 
citizens quit-claimed to the king £312, part of this loan in 
return for licence to elect a mayor annually: ibid., no. 1689. 

3 Koyal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, p. 325. 

4 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 1245, 1266. 


The earl lost no time in Dublin, but rode to 
Trim, where he found the castle held by certain 
knights and others against the king. Aided by 
Walter de Lacy, who accompanied him, he 
straightway besieged the castle. 1 On hearing of 
the earl's arrival, the barons who were holding 
a parley with the King of Connaught in the west 
of Meath, came to the earl and rendered their 
service ; and the earl, quite in the manner of 
a modern general, requested the king to commend 
Geoffrey de Marisco and the other Irish barons as 
well as the citizens for their prompt service. 
While at Trim the earl dispatched his cousin, 
William le Gras, the elder,- with a small force to 
relieve Carrickfergus, which was being besieged 
by Hugh de Lacy. The party safely reached the 
castle by water, though Hugh sent eight boats to 
harass them on the way. Hugh then raised the 
siege and retired, probably to seek assistance 
from O'Neill. Meanwhile the earl sent a party 
of horse against William de Lacy, who with 
difficulty escaped to the moors and had to throw 
himself on the mercy of the Irish. At this time 
O'Reilly, chieftain of Cavan, who had recently 
come to the king's peace, was besieging the castle 
called Crannog O'Reilly :i in Lough Oughter 

1 'Et dictum castrum una cum domino W. de Lascy, qui 
nobiscum venit, dedimus obsidioni.' Svveetman's rendering 
would lead one to suppose that William de Lacy was be- 
sieged in the castle, whereas the meaning clearly is that 
Walter de Lacy assisted the earl in the siege : Cal. Docs. 
Irel., vol. i, no. 1203. 

- 'Misimus dominum W. Grassum piimogenitum, con- 
sanguineum nostrum ' — not ' W. le Gros, his eldest cousin ', 
as rendered by Sweetman. lie was called primogenitus to 
distinguish him from his brother of the same name. He 
was the earl's seneschal in Leinster at this time: infra, p. 50. 

:i See ante, p. 33. 


(already mentioned), where William de Lacy had 
placed for security his wife (daughter of Llewelyn), 
his mother (daughter of Rory O'Conor), 1 and the 
wife of his half-brother, Thomas Blund. O'Reilly 
applied to the earl for succour, and in reply the 
earl sent some soldiers with Walter de Ridelsford 
and Richard de Tuit, who took the castle. The 
ladies were taken into custody, and Rory O'Conor's 
daughter appears to have been employed to induce 
her nephew, Aedh O'Conor, now King of Con- 
naught, to return to the king's peace. As we 
have seen he had taken advantage of the disturb- 
ance to enter Annaly and burn the castle of 
Ardowlan. His aunt's intercession, however, 
seems to have had effect, as we find him soon 
afterwards joining the army against Hugh de Lacy 
in the march to Dundalk. The earl's knights 
then besieged and took the castle of Kilmore, 
which was held by Henry Blund, another half- 
brother of William de Lacy. Three or four 
castles in Meath, including the de Lacy castles of 
Ratoath and Rathfeigh, had been taken before the 
earl's arrival, and at the date of his dispatch 
Trim Castle was to be surrendered after a six 
weeks* siege on the following August 11. 

The disaffection in Meath was thus quickly 
suppressed with little bloodshed and, incidentally, 
a check was put upon the aggressive movement 
Hugh de into Breffny, but Hugh de Lacy was still at large 
Lacy in m Ulster, and had obtained the powerful support 
of Aedh O'Neill. Together they demolished the 
castle of Coleraine,- which belonged to the Earl of 

1 She was the elder Hugh de Lacy's second wife whom 
he married in 1181 ; see ante, vol. ii, p. 54. She must have 
afterwards married a Blund. 

2 See the misplaced entry Ann. Ulst. 1222 and note supra, 
p. 38. The castle of Coleraine was rebuilt in 1228 : Ann. 


Athol, and deprived Duncan of Carrick of his 
land. 1 Here were the elements of a bargain 
between Hugh and O'Neill, for these Scottish 
nobles had also been given land in O'Neill's 
territory. 2 Hugh would aid O'Neill in ousting 
the Scots from Ireland, and O'Neill would assist 
Hugh in recovering his earldom from the Saxon 
king. Unfortunately we have no further dispatch 
from the Earl Marshal to elucidate what followed, 
but from the Irish annals it appears that, sup- 
ported by the Kings of Connaught, Thomond and 
Desmond, he led an army to the borders of 
Ulster at Dundalk. 3 Here Hugh de Lacy had 
ravaged the lands of his brother-in-law Nicholas 
de Verdun, 4 and now with O'Neill he held the 
passes, always difficult to force, into Ulster. 
Neither side, however, wished to push matters to 
extremities and there was no fighting. It was 
obviously important to detach Hugh from his 
Irish ally, and probably the Marshal was able to 
assure Hugh that no very severe terms would be 
imposed. At any rate Hugh surrendered to the 
Marshal, and was sent to the king to abide by his 
award. 5 This was probably in October. Early 
in November, William Marshal was summoned to 
the king, and the management of affairs in Ireland 
was temporarily entrusted to Geoffrey de Marisco. 
Though we have described the disturbance 
caused by Hugh de Lacy at some length its 

1 Close Rolls, 8 Hen. Ill, pp. 615, 640. 

2 See ante, vol. ii, pp. 290-3. The grants to Alan of 
Galloway and Duncan of Carrick had been confirmed by 
Henry III : Rot. Claus., 4 Hen. Ill, p. 420 b and 8 Hen. Ill, 
p. 587. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1224. 

4 Rot. Claus., 8 Hen. Ill, p. 618. 

B Ann. Loch Ce, 1224 ; Ann. Dunstable, pp. 91-2, and 
cf. Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 1219. 


importance should not be exaggerated. It did 
not affect adversely the mutual relations of 
English and Irish. Indeed the circumstances 
show the strength of the Anglo-Norman position 
at this period. Not only was Hugh unable to get 
any support from the Irish except from O'Neill, 
but the other provincial kings all actively sup- 
ported the Crown against him. There was no 
serious split among the barons of Ireland. Even 
in Meath, with the exception of the junior 
branches of the de Lacys and some others, the 
principal tenants were loyal. It was essentially 
a personal quarrel between Hugh and the Crown, 
and should be regarded as an example, rare up 
to this time on Irish soil, of the struggle which 
had been going on in England for several years 
between the Crown and a section of the barons 
that championed an extreme form of feudal 
Terms Some time elapsed before terms were settled 

wittfthe W **k ** ie °* e -k ac y s - A s regards Walter, it was 
de Lacys. arranged in May 1225 that he should make ' a fine 
with the king of 3,000 marks, to have seisin of 
the lands of his knights and free tenants in Ireland 
taken into the king's hand, because they went 
against the king in Hugh de Lacy's war'. The 
castles of Trim and Kilmore in Ireland, and 
Ludlow in England, were to be restored to him, 
but the king was to retain the castles of Ratoath, 
Nobber, and Drogheda. 1 He was held responsible 
for the transgressions of his. tenants, but, with 
three exceptions, he was to keep the fines which 
these tenants should make with him to have their 
lands again, so that Walter's fine may be in part 
regarded as a convenient way of collecting these 

1 Rot. Claus., 9 Hen. Ill, p. 89 b. 


fines for the king. Nevertheless, coming on the 
top of the fine of £4,000, imposed by King John 
in 1215, it was a heavy burden, and in 1234-5 
Walter owed £2,747 Is. lOd. for the two fines, 1 
and at his death he was still in debt to the Crown. 
About the same time, at the instance of the Earl 
Marshal, the king gave Hugh de Lacy 200 marks 
until he should further provide for him. 2 But it 
was not until a year later that an arrangement 
was made for Hugh's benefit, by which Walter 
received the custody of the castles of Carrickfergus, 
Antrim, and Dundrum, with all the land which 
Hugh formerly held in Ulster, also all the lands 
which Hugh held of Walter's fee, with the castles 
of Ratoath and Nobber, and also the lands which 
he held of the fee of Nicholas de Verdun and had 
in marriage with Lesceline his wife, with the 
castle of Carlingford— all these lands and castles 
to be restored to the king at the end of three 
years, unless meanwhile Hugh should obtain of 
the king's grace their restoration to himself. 1 
These terms do not appear to differ in substance 
from those to which the king's council was ready 
to assent in 1223, but now the requisite sureties 
were forthcoming. Indeed, elaborate precautions 
were taken to insure fulfilment of the terms. 
Hostages were given, including Walter and Roger, 
sons of Hugh de Lacy, and many of the highest 
nobles of England became sureties that Walter 
and his son Gilbert would surrender the castles 
and lands, if the conditions were not fulfilled. 4 
William Marshal himself was a surety both for 
this arrangement, and for the former one con- 

1 Pipe Eoll (Ireland), 19 Hen. Ill, 35 Rep. D. K., p. 34. 

2 Close Roll, 9 Hen. Ill, p. 37 b. 

3 Pat. Roll, 10 Hen. Ill, p. 31. * Ibid., pp. 75-8. 


cerning Walter's lands. Though Hugh de Lacy- 
had joined Llewelyn against him in Wales, and 
though they had been opposed in Ireland, it is 
evident that William Marshal bore his opponent 
no ill will, but acted generously towards him, and 
even risked something to enable him to obtain 
restoration to favour. This generous conduct was 
ill repaid by Hugh de Lacy, in the part he took 
a few years later in bringing about the tragic 
death of Richard Marshal, the earl's brother and 




William Makshal the younger, Earl of Pern- William 
broke, is prominent in Irish history as the com- Marshal 
mander who successfully curbed the turbulence 
of the supporters of Hugh de Lacy in Meath and 
Breffny, and as the statesman who removed the 
cause of disaffection by bringing about the peace- 
able restoration of Hugh to his earldom. These 
public actions have been sufficiently described in 
the preceding chapter. The latter action was 
forgotten by the de Lacys, while the former was 
remembered against the earl and his successors, 
as was also his unsuccessful protest against the 
policy of confiscation adopted with regard to 
Aedh, son of Cathal, King of Connaught, to be 
mentioned in chapter xxviii. Before telling the 
story of the fatality which befell the male mem- 
bers of his father's house and brought about 
the breaking up of Strongbow's great fief, we 
shall here notice some traces of his work as lord 
of Leinster. 

The earl's seneschal in Leinster in 1223, when 
he granted charters to Carlow and Moone, and 
made an addition to his father's charter to 
Kilkenny, was Thomas Fitz Anthony, 1 who had 

1 Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, pp. 34, 38 ; also 
charter to Moen, Justiciary Roll, vol. i, p. 371. 

2261 -1 D 


been his father's seneschal ; but in 1224 his 
seneschal was William le Gras, called primogenitus, 
or senior, 1 to distinguish him from his brother 
Origin of William le Gras, junior. This family, from 
the le which descended the Graces of Tullaroan, has 
family. been strangely mishandled by our genealogists. 
On no better ground apparently than the supposed 
identity of the sobriquet, it has been alleged to 
have sprung from Raymond Fitz William, nick- 
named ' le Gros ', in spite of the clear evidence 
that Raymond left no children. 2 On a similar 
ground, and through an apparently mistaken 
interpretation of his nephew's charter to Sodbury 
in Gloucestershire, William le Gras, 'primo- 
genitus/ has been identified with William 'le 
Gros', the Earl of Albemarle, who died in 1179. 3 
From his charter to Bradenstoke, however, granted 
shortly before the death of the elder William 
Marshal (who with his son William witnessed it), 
it appears that William Grassus or le Gras, 
' primogenitus/ was the eldest son of another 
William le Gras (Grassus), and that his brothers 

1 Gormanston Register, f. 209. This change of seneschal 
is important for the dating of many charters. 

2 Memoirs of the Grace Family, by Sheffield Grace. 

3 Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxii (1902), pp. 64-7. This 
Sodbury charter (undated) is apparently only known by an 
extract given in Rudder's Gloucestershire : ' Willelmus 
Crassus primogenitus [?] Alius Willelmi Crassi iunioris 
salutem. [Sciant, etc.] nos concessisse . . . burgensibus no- 
stris de Sobbur' [Sodbury J totum quod Willelmus Crassus 
primogenitus, avunculus noster, eisdem fecit [viz. the laws 
of Breteuil].' Possibly the first 'primogenitus' has crept 
into the text by error. At any rate it is pretty clear that the 
grantor was the son of the William, junior, and nephew of 
the William, ' primogenitus ', of the Bradenstoke charter and 
of the Irish documents. William le Gras, primogenitus or 
senior, obtained a market at Sodbury in 1217: Close Boll, 
2 Hen. Ill, p. 368. 


were William le Gras, junior, Hamo le Gras, 
Anselm le Gras, then treasurer of Exeter, and 
Robert le Gras, then dead. 1 This Anselm le Gras 
was consecrated Bishop of St. David's in 1231, 
and is described as nephew of the elder William 
Marshal, 2 while the younger William Marshal, as 
we have seen, :: calls William le Gras, primo 
genitus, ' his cousin '. From these facts we may 
conjecture with probability that William le Gras, 
father of the above-named brothers, married a 
sister of the elder William Marshal, which would 
account precisely for the stated relationships, and 
that in all probability he was the William le Gras 
who was appointed by King John seneschal of 
Normandy on August 19, 1203. 4 William le 
Gras, primogenitus, was still seneschal of Leinster 

1 This charter is given in Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii, 
p. 208 'Sciant, etc., quod ego Willielmus Grassus primogeni- 
tus Willielmi Grassi Deo et canonicis de Bradenstoke con- 
cessu Willielmi le gras iunioris et Hamonis Gras et Anselmi 
Gras Thesaurarii Exoniensis fratrum meorum et aliorum 
parentum meorum pro salute Roberti le Gras fratris mei 
ibidem requiescentis totam terrain illam in villa de Wales 
quam dedi praefato Roberto le Gras fratri meo, etc. Testi- 
bus domino Willielmo Marescallo, comite Penbrochie, Wil- 
lielmo Marescallo filio suo, Willielmo le Gras iuniore, 
Hamone le Gras, Anselmo le Gras Thesaurario Exoniae, 
fratribus meis, etc' 

2 Annales Monastici, vol. iv, p. 422, and cf. Register 
St. Thomas's Abbey, Dublin, p. 137, where Anselmus 
nepos comitis [Penbrochie] is one of the witnesses to a 
grant by William Marshal I. 

3 Supra, p. 43. 

4 According to L'Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal, the 
elder William Marshal had two sisters who were ' riche- 
ment mariees ', 1. 398. From 11. 7265 et seq. it would seem 
that one of the sisters was married to Robert del Pont de 
l'Arche and had five daughters then living (c. 1184), whom 
she was concerned to marry. William le Gras is mentioned 
(ibid., 1. 4713) at a tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne. 

D 2 


in December 1224. 1 As he was succeeded in Sod- 
bury by his nephew William, son of his brother 
William, junior, we may perhaps infer that he 
died without issue ; 2 and that it was his nephew 
who appears in 1247 as holding lands of Richard, 
Earl of Gloucester, son of Isabel Marshal, in 
Offerlane, Queen's County, and at Tullaroan, 
County Kilkenny/' and who was, no doubt, 
ancestor of the Graces, barons of Courtstown 
near Tullaroan. 
William The younger William Marshal was in Ireland 
Marshal i n the winter of 1222-3, but left early in April 
Ireland. 1223, on account of the aggressive action of 
Llewelyn on the English border. 4 He came 
again to Ireland as justiciar in June 1224, and 
was there nearly continuously 5 for two years, 
when he was superseded by Geoffrey de Marisco. 
He returned to Ireland in a private capacity 

1 Gormanston Eegister, f. 209. 

2 From Fine Koll, 4 Hen. Ill, p. 40, it appears that in 
December 1219 William Crassus, primogenitus, made a fine 
for having to wife Hawise, daughter and heir of Thomas de 
London, and that William Marshal II and others of his 
family and friends were pledges for the fine ; but from an 
entry dated June 11, 1223 (Cal. Patent Eolls, vol. i, p. 376), 
it would seem that the marriage did not take place, and that 
Walter de Braose married Hawise with the king's consent. 

3 See Chart. St. Mary's, vol. ii, p. 405. The family of 
Welond had some claims to lands at Tullaroan, which in 
1283 were released to William le Gras (who had previously 
held the lands of the gift of William Welond) in considera- 
tion of receiving from him Sodbury in exchange : Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. ii, no. 2158. 

4 A charter of his is dated at Kilkenny, April 5 a. r. 
7 Hen. Ill (1223) ; Chartae Privil. et Immun., p. 34, and 
cf. inspeximus, p. 80. The earl appears to have landed in 
Wales on April 10 ; see Minority of Henry III (Norgate), 
p. 192 note. 

5 He went to the king for a short time in November 1224 ; 
Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 1224. 


about the end of August 1226, and seems to 
have remained there until about May 1227. 1 In 
his time (1219-31), and indeed ever since the 
settling of the dispute between his father and 
Meiler Fitz Henry in 1208, the peace in Leinster 
appears to have been quite unbroken. The 
younger earl followed in the footsteps of his 
father, building castles, encouraging the formation 
and growth of towns, endowing religious estab- 
lishments, and developing generally his great 
fief. To assist him in the work of incastellation, 
the king granted to him the service which he 
owed for the year 1222-3, and again, when the 
earl was justiciar, the service which he owed for 
the year 1225-6. 2 Orders of this kind were not 
uncommon in Henry's reign, and they sometimes 
afford indications as to the dates of the first stone 
castles. It would seem, however, that the earl 
never got this latter service, as the order was 
afterwards postponed until after Richard de Burgh 
should have acquired the land of the King of 
Connaught. 3 The last of these orders was for 
his service of forty days, due to the king for one 
year to fortify the castle of Cumbre (Castlecomer), 
but this was shortly before William's death, and 
the first stone castle here was probably not 
erected until later. 4 Perhaps, however, to the 
younger earl should be ascribed the erection or 
completion of the first stone castles at Ferns and 

1 Cal. Docs, Irel., vol. i, nos. 1440. 1506. 

2 Ibid., nos. 1030, 1269. 

3 Ibid., nos. 1439, 1515. 

4 Ibid., nos. 1809, 1866. Cumbre was an important manor 
at the time of the partition of Leinster and went with 
Kildare. There was a stone castle here in the time 
of Edward I, but nothing now remains except the mote, 
which is partially revetted ; see Journ. R. S. A. I., 1909, 
pp. 318-19. 


Carlow. They are first mentioned in, or immedi- 
ately after, his time, and the existing ruins seem 
to point to about this period. 
Ferns The castle somewhat hurriedly constructed at 

Castle. Ferns by the sons of Maurice Fitz Gerald in 1177 
was, as we have seen, destroyed in the interest of 
the Mac Murroughs. 1 A seignorial manor was, 
however, subsequently formed here, probably by 
the elder William Marshal, and this seems to 
have been the subject of his dispute, to which we 
have already alluded, with Albin O'Mulloy the 
last Irish Bishop of Ferns. 2 The elder earl may 
have built or commenced to build the castle, and 
this supposition would harmonize with his dispute 
with the bishop, but the first time we hear of it 
is in 1232, when ' the manor and castle of Ferns ' 
were offered by Richard Marshal as part of the 
dower of his brother's widow. 3 It may therefore 
have been built or completed by the younger 
Earl William. Albin O'Mulloy died in 1222, and 
John de St. John, who had been a trusted 
minister of the Crown in Ireland since 1212, and 
held the offices of Treasurer and Escheator, was 
appointed in his place. The dispute as to the 
church-lands was in part, at all events, settled or 
compromised between him and Philip de Prender- 
gast in 1227, 4 but though the bishop had a manor 
at Ferns and was granted a fair there in 1226, 5 

1 Ante, vol. ii, p. 8. 2 Supra, p. 29. 

3 Close Roll, 16 Hen. Ill, pp. 144-5. Eleanor's dower 
was, however, fixed at £400 a year, leviable in ease of non- 
payment out of the earl's English lands : Cal. Docs. Irel., 
vol. i, no. 2041. From this it would seem that at this time 
the fief of Leinster was valued at £1200 a year. 

4 Supra, p. 29. 

5 Rot. Claus., 10 Hen. Ill, p. 127. £11 10s. 9%d. was 
received from the episcopal manor of Ferns (including Clone) 
when in the king's hand for five months in 1282 ; Hore's 


the manor attached to the castle of Ferns remained 
a seignorial manor, and until near the close of the 
century was the most lucrative manor of the 
lordship of Wexford. 1 There is indeed ample 
evidence that throughout the thirteenth century 
the greater part of the ancient kingdom of 
Okinselagh, and the subordinate territories in 
the present County Carlow, were extensively 
settled and the whole district normally peaceful 
and prosperous, though early in the succeeding 
century the Mac Murroughs, Kavanaghs, Kin- 
sellas, and others of the Irish who had not been 
expelled, once more began to dominate much of 
the northern part of their ancient territories. 

In plan the castle of Ferns was a rectangle of 
90 by 65 feet, with three-quarter projecting round 
towers, 32 feet in diameter, at the corners. The 
walls of the towers are 8 feet thick, and the 
remaining south wall is 7 feet thick. The castles 
of Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, and Enniscorthy, 
though varying considerably in dimensions, seem 
all to have followed a similar ground-plan, and 
were probably all erected at about the same 

The ruined chancel of the Anglo-Norman 
Cathedral at Ferns bears testimony to the skill 

History of County Wexford, vol. vi, p. 191 ; and see Irish 
Pipe Roll, 10 Ed. I, 36th Rep. D. K., p. 61. 

1 At the partition of Leinster, Ferns was valued at .£81 15s. 
In 1307 when an inquisition on the lands of Joan de Valence 
was taken there were 160 burgages in the town paying 
.£8 0s. id., free tenants paying formerly ,£18 0s. 3c/., and 
fifty-four carucates of land (no doubt largely let to Irish 
holders) formerly worth £59 9s. 2d. The total, however, 
had then depreciated to .£38 16s. Qd. The inquisition taken 
after the death of Aymer de Valence in 1324 shows that 
the manor was then of little or no value ' owing to the war 
of the Irish '. 


and taste of the age. It belongs to the early 
part of the thirteenth century, and was perhaps 
the work of John de St. John, who is said to have 
been ' one of the principal benefactors of his 
Church, as well for his structures as for the 
privileges obtained for his See'. 1 The church 
when complete must have been a stately structure 
of about 180 feet long. The present building was 
roughly formed in the time of Queen Elizabeth 
by walling up the central portion of the nave, 
without the side aisles, some of the original 
pillars of which are embedded in these walls. 
To this in 1816 a piece was added joining the 
building with the tower, which had previously 
stood separate. 2 

The younger Earl William granted an extended 
charter to the town of Carlow in 1223. 3 It 
mentions the castle, and follows closely the form 
of his father's charter to Kilkenny. He also 
granted a similar charter to the burgesses of 
Moone in County Kildare, 4 but both these 
boroughs were established earlier, as the rent of 
one shilling for each burgage was fixed by Geoffrey 
Fitz Robert, his father's seneschal. 
Duiske As regards religious foundations, the earl in 

monas- 1227 confirmed his father's grant to the Cistercian 
monastery de valle Sancti Salvatoris, situated on 
the Barrow at Duiske, or Graig-na-managh as it is 
now called. A large number of documents relating 
to this convent are preserved at Kilkenny Castle, 

1 Ware, Bishops. 

2 Hore's History of Co. Wexford, vol. vi, pp. 165-9. 
These facts became manifest during the recent (1901-3) 
restoration, and some of the embedded pillars are now 
partially exposed to view. 

3 Chartae Privil. et Immun., p. 37. 

4 Justiciary Roll, 30 Ed. I, pp. 369-71 ^Mills). 



and have been edited by Dr. Bernard, now 
Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. 1 From these 
it appears that in 1227 the Abbot of Froidmont, 
acting on behalf of the general chapter of Citeaux, 
decreed that the neighbouring convent de valle 
Dei, or Killenny, on account of its poverty should 
be incorporated with that at Duiske. Killenny 
was a daughter house of Jerpoint, and owed its 
first endowments to a grant from Dermot O'Ryan, 
lord of Idrone, which was confirmed by Dermot 
Mac Murrough before the Normans came. Its 
absorption by Duiske, though confirmed by all 
the highest authorities spiritual and temporal 
(among the latter being William' Marshal), was 
for a long period contested by Jerpoint, and the 
contest was not finally settled until the year 1289, 
when the sum of 1,300 marks was paid to Jerpoint 
by way of compensation. During the thirteenth 
century Duiske was a prosperous monastery, 
essentially Anglo-Norman in personnel and tone, 
but early in the next century it suffered from the 
disturbed state of the country. It became more 
and more Irish in character, and its last abbot 
was a son of Donnell Reagh Kavanagh, self-styled 
King of Leinster. To judge by such of the 
remains as have not been mutilated it must have 
been a fine example of Anglo-Norman architecture, 
the abbey-church resembling in plan that of 
Strata Florida. The earl also granted a new site 
to the Prior and monks of St. John the Evangelist 
at Kilkenny, and richly endowed the housed 
Part of the ruined chancel of this church still 
stands on the site so granted, and contains some 

1 Proc. R. I. A., vol. xxxv (c), pp. 1-188. 

2 Ante, vol. ii, p. 229 note, where the charter is shown to 
belong to the younger Earl William and to have been 
executed in 1223. 


beautiful early thirteenth-century work. It should 
be compared with that of the church of St. Mary 
at New Ross, which was appropriated by the 
younger Earl William to the Prior of St. John's, 
and must date from about the same time. 1 The 
choir and transepts of the stately cathedral of 
St. Canice already, perhaps, adorned the ' Fair 
citie by the Nore ', 2 and now a new foundation, 
the convent for Dominicans, usually called the 
Black Abbey, was added by the earl to the 
religious foundations of the city. 3 The church, 
which is still used, has suffered much from 
violence and tasteless rebuilding, and little of 
architectural interest remains. Indeed, in all 
these churches in Leinster, Ferns, Graig-na- 
managh, St. Mary's, St. John's, the Black Abbey, 
and Gowran, as in many others throughout 
Ireland, it is humiliating to contrast the simple 
grace and beauty of the original thirteenth-century 
architecture with the clumsiness and want of 
taste displayed in the structures that have partially 
replaced them. In the cathedral of St. Canice 
alone has the pristine beauty of the edifice been 
worthily preserved or restored. 

In May 1230 Earl William accompanied the 
king on his fruitless march to Bordeaux, and in 
October he was left behind at Nantes with 
Randolph, Earl of Chester, and a small force 
when the king returned to England. Early in 
April 1231 the earl was back in London and was 
present at the nuptial festivities of his sister 

1 See my pamphlet on New Ross in the thirteenth century 
(1911), p. 11. The Lady Chapel of St. John's, called by reason 
of its many lofty lights ' the Lantern of Ireland ', was not 
completed until 1290 : Liber Primus Kilkenniensis. It was 
finally demolished when the present church was built. 

2 Ante, vol. ii, p. 229. 3 Ware. 


Isabel, Countess of Gloucester/ with Kichard, 
Earl of Cornwall, the king's brother. A few days Earl 
afterwards he died unexpectedly, in the flower of I ra S l,m ' B 
his age, and was buried in the New Temple beside 1231. ' 
his father. 2 Though twice married, first in 1214 
to Alice, daughter of Baldwin de Betune, titular 
count of Aumale, 3 and again in 1224 to Eleanor 
the king's sister, 4 then only nine years old, he 
left no issue. 

The king immediately, on April 11, announced 
the death of the earl to the constables of his 
castles of Kilkenny, Odagh, Wexford, Old Ross, 
Dunamase, Carlow, Kildare, Carrick on Slaney, 
and the Island (in the parish of Kilmokea, County 
Wexford),"' and ordered them to give up the 
custody of the castles to Walerand le Teys, or 
Teutonicus, the king's bailiff. There was some 

' Her first husband, Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester 
and Hertford, died in October 1230. 

2 Eoger of Wendover (Coxe), vol. iv, p. 220 ; Ann. Waver- 
ley, 309. The tradition that he was buried at Kilkenny- 
must be rejected. 

' Alice de Betune's mother was Haweis, daughter and 
heir of William le Gros, Count of Aumale, who died in 1180. 
Baldwin de Betune was her third husband and an old com- 
panion of the elder William Marshal : L'Histoire de G. le 
Marechal, 1. 14968. Alice was betrothed to the younger 
William Marshal in 1203, when she was only about six 
years of age: Kot. Chart., vol. i, pp. 112b, 113a. The 
marriage appears to have taken place in 1214, and Alice 
died about a year afterwards. 

1 Rot. Pat., 8 Hen. Ill, vol. i, p. 426 ; Gerv. Cant, vol. ii, 
p. 113. Eleanor afterwards (1238) married Simon de Mont- 
fort, the victor at Lewes. 

Patent Roll, 15 Hen. Ill, p. 429. For the first seven 
castles see ante, vol. i, pp. 373-7. Carrick castle was on the 
site of Robert Fitz Stephen's earthen fort : ibid., pp. 232-3. 
The Island had been the caput baroniae of Hervey de Mont- 
morency : ibid., p. 393 ; but had escheated to the lord of 

B Pat. Roll, 15 Hen. Ill, p. 429. 


opposition to the execution of this mandate which, 
seeing that the heir was not a minor, was some- 
The king what unusual. On May 31 the king wrote to 
Richard 1 ex pl am that his action was not directed to injure 
Richard Marshal, the earl's brother and heir, but 
as Richard was liege man to the King of France, 
the king's chief enemy, the king intended to 
hold in his hand the earl's land until Richard 
should come before him and do his duty in regard 
to the inheritance. 1 When, however, Richard 
came to proffer his homage, the king, by the 
advice of Hubert de Burgh, refused to accept it 
on the plea that his brother's widow might have 
a posthumous child, and on the more serious 
ground of his association with the king's enemies 
in France, ordered him to leave the kingdom 
within fifteen days. Thereupon Richard is said 
to have gone to Ireland, prepared to enter upon 
his inheritance without the king's consent. 2 Ulti- 
mately on August 8 the king took Richard's 
homage and ordered seisin to be given to him. 3 

Notwithstanding the ill turn done to him by 
Hubert de Burgh, Earl Richard Marshal was one 

1 Pat. Roll, 15 Hen. Ill, p. 435. Richard had been assigned 
his father's estates in Normandy : Magni Rot. Scacc. Norm., 
vol. ii, cxxxviii (Stapleton) ; Cartulaire Normand, no. 285 
(Delisle). Apparently Henry expected Richard Marshal to 
renounce his allegiance to Louis of France 'a cuius ligancia 
si ipse Ricardus recedere velit, adhuc ignoramus '. 

2 Roger of Wendover (Coxe), vol. iv, p. 225. 

3 Close Roll, 15 Hen. Ill, p. 541. Earl Richard was in 
Ireland in 1233 when, on April 1 (his fatal day), at his 
castle of Old Ross, he restored to the Cistercians of Dun- 
brody the wood of Duncannon : Chart. St. Mary's, Dub., 
vol. ii, p. 160. About the same time he delimited his 
forests of Ross and Taghmon : ibid., p. 154. This deed is 
of great topographical interest and shows that the southern 
half of County Wexford up to the limits of these forests was 
well settled at the time. 


of those who, after Hubert's fall in July 1282, 
saved him from the worst consequences which 
the malice of his enemies had prepared for him. 
He then became the leader of the opposition to Earl 
Peter des Roches and the Poitevin counsellors of Richard 
the king, who had taken all offices of trust and oppos? 6 
emolument into their own hands. In bold bontothe 
language he remonstrated with the king for Poitevlns - 
having summoned these foreigners to his councils, 
to the oppression of the kingdom and of his 
native-born subjects, and to the subversion alike 
of laws and liberties. The Poitevins accordingly 
turned their animosity upon the earl and his 
supporters, and poisoned the king's mind against 
them. The story of their vengeance on the earl 
is told at great length and with righteous indigna- 
tion by Roger of Wendover, and repeated with 
some literary embellishments by Matthew Paris. 1 
As we shall see, this story, though true in the intrigue 
main, must be taken with considerable reserve. ?pj nst 
We shall first give a brief summary of the leading Richard, 
events as narrated by these writers, and while 
noting certain details which seem incorrect or 
incredible, reserve more general comments for 
the close. 

A conference was summoned at London for 
August 1, 1233, when Earl Richard, who had 
come to take part in it, was warned by his sister, 
wife of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, that his enemies 
were plotting to take him prisoner and serve him 
as they had served Hubert de Burgh. Accordingly 
at nightfall the Earl Marshal withdrew to Wales, 
where he was joined by others. The king, without 
trial, declared the fugitive barons to be exiled and 

1 See Roger of Wendover (Coxe), vol. iv, pp. 270-308 ; 
Matthew Paris, Chronica Maiora, vol. iii, pp. 246-79. 


proscribed men, gave their lands to the Poitevins, 
and ordered their persons to be seized. Henry 
himself led a host into Wales, but the Marshal, 
now in open rebellion, with the aid of his Welsh 
allies not only eluded all attempts to overpower 
him, but, while avoiding direct conflict with the 
king, succeeded in inflicting great losses on the 
Poitevins. At last, about January 1234, the Bishop 
of Winchester, Peter of Rivaux, and others of the 
king's counsellors, finding that they could not 
gain their end by open fighting, had recourse to 
treachery. They induced the king to affix his seal 
to letters, of the purport of which (as he afterwards 
swore) he was ignorant, addressed to Maurice 
Fitz Gerald, the justiciar, Walter and Hugh de 
Lacy, Richard de Burgh, Geoffrey de Marisco, and 
others, the Marshal's sworn but faithless men, 1 
bidding them seize Richard Marshal if he should 
come to Ireland and bring him dead or alive 
before the king, and promising that if they should 
effect this, all the Marshal's possessions in Ireland, 
now at the king's disposal, would be granted to 
them to be divided amongst them. Accordingly 
these Irish magnates, having first received from 

1 Homines eiusdem Marescalll iuratos sed infidcles. But 
this sweeping statement is far from correct. Neither Walter 
de Lacy, Lord of Meath, nor Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster, nor 
Richard de Burgh, whose lands lay in Munster and Con- 
naught, held any lands of the Marshal. Maurice Fitz Gerald's 
principal lands lay about Croom in Limerick and in Imokilly, 
while his lands of Maynooth and Rathmore in Leinster were 
held directly of the barons of Naas (ante, vol. i, p. 380). 
Geoffrey de Marisco, indeed, at this time seems to have held 
the lands of Lea and Geashil in Offaly of the Marshal as 
tenant by the curtesy in right of his (late) wife Eva de 
Bermingham, but his principal lands lay in Munster, where 
he held the manors of Ainy and Adare in Limerick of the 
Crown (ante, vol. ii, p. 169), and Killorglin in Kerry (infra, 
c. xxvii). 


the king's advisers a grant sealed with the royal 
seal (surreptitiously obtained from the chancellor), 
setting forth the possessions of the Marshal 
assigned to each, invaded the Marshal's territory, 
took some of his castles, and divided the booty 
amongst them. 

When the earl heard that some of his castles in 
Ireland had been taken and his lands plundered, 
he at once sailed for Ireland with only fifteen 
knights. This was about February 2, 1234. He 
was met by Geoffrey de Marisco his liege-man, 
but now said to be faithless to him and in league 
with his enemies. He pretended, however, to 
adhere to the earl, and urged him to make war 
upon his enemies and to subdue Ireland, inti- 
mating, according to Matthew Paris, that Ireland 
belonged to him by hereditary right as the 
descendant of Strongbow. 1 This treacherous 
advice was adopted with such success, that not 
only were some of his own castles recovered, but 
Limerick 2 was taken after a four days' siege, 
some castles belonging to his enemies were 
captured, and the Irish nobles, not daring to meet 
the earl, retired to collect additional forces. 

When they had collected a strong force, the 
Irish magnates sent some Templars to the earl to 
tell him that they could not without infamy suffer 

1 This sophistical argument was not one that would appeal 
to Richard Marshal, who, like his father, felt strongly the 
mutual obligations of the feudal relation. The passage does 
not appear in Roger de Wendover's account. 

2 It is quite certain that the Marshal never went to Limerick 
or outside his own fief. There is, however, some evidence 
that Limerick was attacked about this time, or more probably 
a little later, by Donough Cairbrech O'Brien, but he was 
acting in concert with Felim O'Conor against Richard de 
Burgh, and quite independently of Richard Marshal : vide 
infra, c. xxviii. 


him to continue acting as a traitor towards the 
king, and to ask for a truce while they inquired 
whether the king meant to defend Ireland ; for 
if the king determined to abandon it they would 
give up the whole country to the earl without 
opposition. 1 To this the earl replied that he was 
no traitor, ' for ', said he, ' the king unjustly and 
without trial has deprived me of my office of 
Marshal, banished me from England, and burned 
and destroyed my property. Twice he has bidden 
me defiance, though I was always ready to appear 
in his court and abide by the judgement of my 
peers. Therefore I am no longer his man, 2 but 
have been absolved from allegiance to him, not by 
my own act, but by his '. As regards a truce the 
earl invited the magnates to meet him in colloquy 
on the morrow on a certain mead. (This was the 
Curragh of Kildare.) The Irish nobles agreed to 
this, knowing that they had superior forces and 
determined not to return without a battle. The 
Marshal was for granting a truce, but he was 
overborne by the treacherous counsel of Geoffrey 
de Marisco and of his own vassals, about eighty in 
number, who had all been bribed to deceive him. 3 
The On the morrow, the 1st of April, the parties met 

battle of on the Curragh. The earl's opponents were 

1 It is incredible that such terms could have been pro- 
posed. The earl's reply, however, probably states correctly 
enough the defence of his attitude against the king. 

2 It would have been considered disgraceful for either lord 
or man to attack the other while there was affiance between 
them. Hence the king ' defied ' the Marshal before waging 
war against him, and the Marshal argues that th% feudal 
nexus has been broken. ' Rebellions and wars are conducted 
on quasi-legal principles ' : Pollock and Maitland, Hist, of 
Eng. Law, vol. i, p. 303. 

3 Again a reckless statement which can be proved untrue 
by the punishment afterwards meted out to his vassals. 


attended by 140 picked knights chosen for the the Cur- 
purpose of slaying him, while, with the exception ™#Jjj x 
of the fifteen knights of his household who had 1234. 
accompanied him from Wales, the earl's men 
only pretended to be his adherents. The Templars, 
as before, acted as intermediaries. The earl de- 
manded the restoration of his castles before 
granting a truce. This was refused, and the Irish 
nobles prepared for battle, secure of victory. 
Then Geoffrey advised the Marshal to concede the 
truce, ' for ', said he, ' my wife is sister of Hugh de 
Lacy and therefore I cannot fight against him 
with whom I am allied V The Marshal then knew 
that he was betrayed, but disdained to concede 
through fear what, by Geoffrey's advice, he had 
refused to grant for favour. ' I know ', he said. 
' that I am betrayed unto death this day, but it is 
better to die with honour in the cause of justice 
than to fly the field and incur perpetual infamy.' 
He then gave orders for his young brother Walter 
to be brought for safety to the castle (of Kildare ?) 
hard by, so that all of his family might not perish, 
and exhorting his men to follow him, dashed 
bravely against the ranks of his foes. But his 
sworn men in whom he trusted, as had been 

1 This excuse, futile even if* true, was perhaps a mere 
invention of Roger de Wendover. Geoffrey's wife in 1218 
was Eva de Bermingham (Rot. Clans., 2 Hen. Ill, p. 358), 
and she was still alive in 1223 (ibid., 7 Hen. Ill, p. 549 b), 
and died presumably shortly before December 1226. See 
Journ. R. S. A. I., vol. xliv (1914), p. 103. Seeing that even 
in 1296 the elder Hugh de Lacy had been dead for fort}' 
years, it is very improbable that Geoffrey afterwards married 
his daughter. Moreover, Geoffrey was specially commended 
by Earl William Marshal in 1224 for his services against 
Hugh de Lacy, ' whom he in no way favours ' : Royal Letters 
(Shirley). All this must have been known to Earl Richard, 
and the excuse can hardly have been made. 

25511 E 


arranged by the conspirators, voluntarily, without 
a blow, surrendered themselves as it were to 
friends, or fled unwounded to churches and con- 
vents, and only the fifteen knights of his household 
remained to support the Marshal. An unequal 
combat followed in which the Marshal fought 
with desperate courage and consummate skill, so 
that for a long while no one dared to come near 
him. At length after fighting all day and per- 
forming prodigies of valour he was overwhelmed 
by a host of common people armed with lances, 
pitchforks, hatchets, and pole-axes, who succeeded 
in houghing his steed and thus bringing horse 
and rider to the ground. Then rushing on him 
they raised his hauberk and gave him a mortal 
stab in the back. 

His nearly lifeless body was borne to the castle 
(of Kilkenny?) which Maurice the justiciar had 
recently taken, and there he was kept in custody. 
After a few days he so far recovered that he was 
able to eat and drink, play at dice, and walk about 
his room. His wounds, however, grew worse. 
A physician sent to him by the justiciar, ' rather ', 
it is said, ' to kill than to cure him ', probed them 
with a heated instrument and acute fever set in. 
On the 16th of April the ill-fated earl died. 

Such in brief is the story of the tragic end of 

Richard Marshal, as told by Roger of Wendover. 

It is evidently coloured by a strong animus against 

the Marshal's enemies. It has been uncritically 

adopted by modern writers, and by some the ugly 

The above shadows have been even further deepened. 1 In 

accepted substance we must accept the story as in the main 

with true, but not only, as we have pointed out, is it 


1 See Gilbert, Viceroys of Ireland, pp. 95-9, and Stokes, 
Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church (1889), pp. 297-306. 


apparently incorrect in many important details 
which prove the writers ignorant imagination, but 
as regards the worst features of the episode 
material modifications of the view presented seem 
to be warranted b} T attested facts. 

In the first place, we cannot acquit the king of The 
responsibility for what occurred on the plea that kln | s 
he was ignorant of the contents of documents to 
which he put his seal. On March 7 he gave orders 
that Maurice Fitz Gerald should have out of the 
king's treasure in Dublin whatever might be 
necessary and expedient to keep the peace of 
Ireland and maintain war against the kings 
enemies. 1 This can only refer to the earl's war. 
A word to the Marshal at this time that the king 
was meditating a change of counsellors would 
have stayed the war. On March 27 the king 
wrote to the Mayor and citizens of Dublin thank* 
ing them for what they told him concerning the 
arrival of the earl in Ireland, which, he says, was 
not unknown to him, and stating that he had 
convened a council for April 9 to treat concerning 
that and other matters touching the state of the 
realm, and would communicate to the mayor what 
might be done on that day. 2 Next day, March 28, 
he notified to his officers in Wales that he had 
granted a truce to Llewelyn and the Earl Marshal 
until the Sunday after Easter, a but no such notifi- 
cation appears to have been sent to Ireland. 
When on April 9 the king finally yielded to the 
counsel of the archbishop and sent him to Wales 
to make peace with Llewelyn and the earl, he 
well knew that the latter was in Ireland, and no 
doubt he had been kept informed of the struggle 

1 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 18 Hen. Ill, p. 40. 

2 Close Roll, 18 Hen. Ill, p. 395. 

3 Ibid., p. 555. 

E 2 


going on there. Moreover, we cannot believe in 
the sincerity of the king's lamentations at the 
news of the Marshal's death — perhaps Matthew 
Paris does not intend us to believe it — seeing that 
not only had he proscribed him and sought in 
person to compass his destruction in Wales, but 
after the horrid deed was done in Ireland he 
thanked and rewarded those who had had a hand 
in it, and punished by heavy fines those who had 
taken the earl's side. Nor does the king's grief 
and supposed contrition tally with the expressions 
put into his mouth five years later, when he called 
Earl Richard ' a bloody traitor ', ' whom ', he said, 
' I took fighting against me in deadly war in 
Ireland, and who, deservedly disinherited, was 
kept wounded in prison until by the vengeance of 
God he ended his life'. 1 

Secondly, though we have formed no high 
opinion of his character it is impossible to believe 
Geoffrey's that Geoffrey de Marisco played the false and 
position. d eS pi ca kl e p ar t assigned to him. Subsequent 
events show that he did not confederate with the 
earl's enemies. He himself, two of his sons, and 
three of his nephews were taken prisoners on the 
field, were ordered by the king to be securely 
guarded, and were heavily fined. 2 Moreover, next 
year William de Marisco, Geoffrey's son, was 
outlawed for avenging the earl by killing in 

1 Mat. Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. iii, pp. 523-4. This was 
said by Henry in one of his outbursts against Gilbert 

- Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2119, 2222, 2800. Geoffrey 
was ultimately outlawed (ibid., no. 2683) and his lands con- 
fiscated. His manor of Adare appears to have been granted 
to Maurice Fitz Gerald, and was certainly held by his repre- 
sentatives for many generations. He died in 1245, ' exul 
miser et profugus, expulsus a Scotia, foris bannitus ab Anglia, 
exheredatus in Hibernia ' : Mat. Paris. 


London one Henry Clement, clerk to Maurice 
Fitz Gerald, who had boasted that he had caused 
the earl's death. 1 This was not the act of a traitor 
to the earl. 

Thirdly, we cannot on the mere statement of 
the chroniclers of St. Albans attribute the action 
of the earl's Irish opponents to the mean motives Position 
of cupidity and greed, or stigmatize it as stained ° f the 
with treachery. No portion of the Marshal's great w ho op- 
fief was as a matter of fact obtained by any of P° 9ed the 
them, and none of the leaders owed him feudal ear ' 
allegiance, except (indirectly) Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
and he was the king's justiciar, specially bound 
to execute the king's mandates. Richard Marshal 
was an outlaw in open war against the king, the 
feudal army was summoned against him, and the 
Irish barons must be credited with supposing that 
they were carrying out the king's order to take 
him alive or dead. Nor is there any good reason 
to suppose that he was killed otherwise than in 
fair fight. This was the view taken by the Irish 
annalist. ' Richard son of William Marshal raised 
a war against the King of the Saxons in Saxon- 
land and came across from the east and went into 
Leinster; and the foreigners of Erin assembled 
against him on behalf of the King of the Saxons. 
. . . They all proceeded to the Curragh and fought 
a fierce obstinate battle against the Marshal ; and 
Richard son of William Marshal was slain there, 
and Geoffrey Marshal (rede, de Marisco, Mareis, 
or Marsh) was taken prisoner. And there was no 

1 Royal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, pp. 469-71 ; Mat. Paris, 
Chron. Mai., vol. iii, p. 327 ; Close Roll, 19 Hen. Ill, p. 180. 
William de Marisco and his followers fled to Lundy Island, 
where they maintained themselves as pirates for some years, 
but eventually in 1242 he was captured and hung: Mat. 
Paris. Chron. Mai., vol. iv, pp. 193, 195. 


one fighting this battle towards the end but him- 
self alone, after he had been abandoned by his 
own people. And this deed was one of the 
greatest deeds committed in that time.' We do 
not indeed suppose that no personal consideration 
weighed with the Marshal's opponents. Their 
names show that nearly all of them were barons 
who held lands outside of Leinster. There was 
the old jealousy, never quite extinct, on the part 
of the Geraldines and other descendants of the 
early conquerors against new-comers from France 
or England ; and — probably the deciding factor — 
most of them were engaged in the conquest and 
partition of Connaught and had a grudge against 
the Marshal family touching their plans there, for 
the late earl had, as we have seen, opposed their 
movement. The de Lacys too had their special 
grudge against the brother of the man who had 
recently curbed and controlled them and thwarted 
their advance into Breffny. The desire to pay off 
old scores was more likely to have influenced them 
than the futile hope of uprooting the strongest 
settlement in Ireland. 
The earl's Lastly, the odious charge of treachery to their 
vassals lord, levelled against the earl's men, seems to 
traitors, have but slender foundation. There is no evidence 
that, apart from the case of the justiciar and of 
Walter de Ridelisford, 1 both of whom were also 
tenants of the Crown, any of his Irish vassals 
turned against the earl. They did not by all 

1 Walter de Ridelisford seems to have been on the side of 
the king : Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2139, 2253-5. He was 
tenant of the Crown of lands at Bray and in the vale of 
Dublin, and he was one of those interested in the expected 
division of Connaught, but he also held the manors of Tris- 
teldermot and Kilkea in Leinster. One of his daughters 
was married to Hugh de Lacy. 


accounts fight desperately to the death, as their 
lord did. They were not of his heroic mould, and 
they did not make his quarrel wholly their own ; 
but the long list of those who were punished for 
taking his part refutes the charge that they were 
traitors in the pay of his enemies. Contemporary 
records show that the following leading feudatories 
of the Marshal sided with their lord and had to 
pay large fines before they were given back their 
lands : Roger de la Hyde (his seneschal), Hugh 
Purcell, David Basset, Matthew Fitz Griffin, 
Miles de Rochfort, Stephen de Hereford, Geoffrey 
de Norrach, Robert de Grendon, Robert Whittey, 
Maurice de Londres, John le Chenu (Canutus or 
le Hore), and Henry Walsh. 1 Moreover the Irish 
Pipe Roll for 19 Hen. Ill, in an account of the 
County and City of Limerick by Hugh de Barry 
then sheriff, contains a list of thirty-three names 
of landholders who were fined in large sums for 
' being against the king in the war with the 
Richard Marshal '. These names include Geoffrey 
de Marisco and William his son 3,000 marks, three 
of Geoffrey's nephews, viz. William, son of Jordan 
de Marisco £200, Richard de Marisco £100, and 
John Travers £200, also David baron of Naas (he 
held lands in County Limerick) 300 marks, and 
others at fines varying from £10 to 400 marks. 
Also a list of two hundred names of persons fined 
half a mark or more ' because they did not come 
at the summons of the king to the army against 
Richard Marshal '. These facts show how coloured 
and exaggerated is the story of the affair given by 
the chroniclers of St. Albans. Yet when all is 
said to put this ' great deed ' in its true light, the 
death of this fearless knight, fighting for justice 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2129, 2139, 2201, 2224, 
2236, 2345-6, 2362, and 2418. The list is not complete. 


and the liberties of England against the autocracy 
of the Crown and its alien advisers, at the hands 
of men who, had they been true to the interests of 
their class, would have ranged themselves under 
his banner, cannot but be regarded as a cruel 
tragedy and a blot on the fame of the chivalry of 

Earl Richard is described as 'an excellent 
knight, well versed in letters, and graced becom- 
ingly by his manners and virtues . . . and one 
who so shone among the sons of men in the 
beauty of his person that Nature would seem to 
have vied with the Virtues in his composition'. 1 
He was buried at Kilkenny, probably in the pre- 
cincts of the Dominican Convent founded by his 
brother, where tradition long pointed out the 
tomb of ' the Knight of the Curragh ', 2 and where 
to this day is preserved as a precious relic a skull 
ascribed by tradition to one of the Marshals. 3 
The cause By an added touch of tragedy, while Earl 
hedTecf 011 Ri cnai *d lay on his death-bed the cause for which 
won. he had fought was, without his knowing it, won. 

On the 2nd of February, about the time when the 
Marshal set sail for Ireland, Edmund Rich, Arch- 
bishop elect of Canterbury, and his suffragan 
bishops formulated a heavy indictment against 
the king's foreign advisers, and in plain terms 

1 Roger of Wendover (Coxe), vol. iv, p. 308 ; cf. Ann. 
Waverley, p. 313. 

2 Hanmer (ed. 1533), p. 174. Journ. R S. A. I., vol. i, 
p. 457. Roger of Wendover says that Richard Marshal was 
buried 'in oratorio fratrum Minorum apud Kilkenni ubi ipse 
adhuc vivens sepulturam elegerat ' ; but on this point the 
authority of the Laud MS. Annals, supported by tradition, is 

a On visiting the church I was told by the custodian that 
the relic was the skull of the second William Marshal, but 
he was buried in the Temple in London. 


told the king that he was estranging the affections 
of his people, ' as was evident from the conduct of 
the Marshal, who ', they said, ' was the best subject 
in his dominions '. Then they warned the king 
under threat of ecclesiastical censure to dismiss 
his foreign advisers and govern by the assistance 
of his own faithful subjects. The king postponed 
a decision for the moment, but at the next council, 
on April 9, when the archbishop, now duly conse- 
crated, repeated his former warning, the king at 
once yielded to him in everything. In a few days 
the Poitevins were ignominiously dismissed, and 
the archbishop himself was sent to Wales to 
make peace with Llewelyn and the Marshal. 1 

It was not until May 12, when at Woodstock The 
on his way to meet the archbishop, that the king kin &' s 


heard the news of the Marshal's death and shed tance. 
too late the tears of repentance. Influenced by 
the archbishop, he lost no time now in pardoning 
the proscribed nobles and in giving them the kiss 
of peace. 2 He at once invited Gilbert, Walter, 
and Anselm Marshal, the deceased earl's remain- 
ing brothers, to his presence to seek his favour, 
and on May 28 he restored to Gilbert his 
hereditary possessions, received his homage, and 
shortly afterwards girded him with the knight's 
belt, and delivered to him the wand of the 
marshalship. The reconciliation was, for the 
time, apparently complete. 

About the same time, however, the king, whose 

1 Mat. Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. iii, pp. 269-72. 

2 Cal. Pat. Roll, 18 Hen. Ill, p. 48. On June 8, 1234, the 
king declared the sentence of outlawry against Hubert de 
Burgh, Gilbert Basset, Richard Seward, Philip Basset, and 
others who favoured the Earl Marshal, should be annulled, 
' eo quod iniuste et contra legem terrae in eos fuit promul- 
gata': Close Roll, 18 Hen. Ill, p. 567. 


The earl's double dealing and insincerity is manifest, thanked 
nents r Richard de Burgh for his strenuous resistance to 
warded. Richard Marshal, and declared himself ready to 
bestow an adequate reward after he had conferred 
with Maurice Fitz Gerald, Hugh de Lacy, and the 
Bishops of Ferns and Meath, whom he at the 
same time summoned to his presence. 1 This 
reward, as we shall see, took the form of the 
restoration to Richard de Burgh of his land of 
Connaught. Maurice Fitz Gerald was evidently 
apprehensive for his safety, for though summoned 
more than once he did not come until after he 
had obtained a safe-conduct from the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. 2 In September Maurice was with 
the king and fully retained his favour for many 
years. Peace was made between Gilbert Marshal 
and the Irish magnates, and the terms on which 
those who had sided with Richard Marshal should 
be restored to their lands were finally settled. 
The dismissal of the Poitevins and the closing of 
this episode were due to the wisdom and courage 
of Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury, who, 
in the historical temple of those who have striven 
for British liberty, merits a small niche between 
the lofty pedestals of Stephen Langton and Simon 
de Montfort. 

But neither Archbishop Edmund nor Earl 
Gilbert had quite the qualities for leading success- 
fully the baronial opposition or keeping the king 
to good resolutions, which were merely the out- 
come of the policy of the moment and not of any 
settled conviction. Upon the king's marriage 
with Eleanor of Provence new foreigners — 
Savoyards and Provencals — gained the king's ear, 

1 Close Rolls, 18 Hen. Ill, p. 561. 
- Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2146-8. 


to be followed later on by a new invasion of 
Poitevins. More than once the king quarrelled 
with Earl Gilbert, and on the earl's death, which 
occurred through an accident at a prohibited 
tournament in 1241, the king refused for a time 
to grant seisin to the fourth brother, Walter. 
Earl Walter died on November 24, 1245, and 
eleven days later Anselm, the fifth and sole re- 
maining brother, breathed his last at Strigul. 
The strange fatality that cut off all the male 
descendants of the great Earl Marshal was now 

The great fief of Leinster was now divisible Leinster 
ainong the five daughters of the elder Earl j^ioned 
William Marshal or their representatives. These 
five daughters had all married great English 
lords, and by May 1247, when the partition was 
effected, only the eldest, Matilda, widow first of 
Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and then of William, 
Earl Warenne, was alive. Of the shares of the 
deceased daughters, one became divisible among 
seven co-heiresses, and another among three co- 
heiresses, so that the primary division into fifths 
became in two cases subject to a further sub- 
division. Herein was exemplified one of the 
weaknesses of the feudal system. That a great A weak- 
fief, viewed simply as property, should be parted p ies j 1 j 1 
among several proprietors, may seem to us no bad i aw of 
thing ; but the feudal baron was much more than succes- 
a mere landed proprietor. He was the head of S10n * 
a great organization, the representative and pro- 
tector of a large social unit. Under the king, 
and within defined limits of law and custom, he 
was the virtual ruler of his domain. His courts 
were open to all his tenants for the settlement of 
their disputes, and in the great liberties, except 
so far as the pleas of the Crown were reserved 


and appeals to the king's court were allowed, 
criminal jurisdiction was in the lord's hand. In 
short the lord of the liberty and his officials 
occupied in large measure the place of our modern 
civil service. Nay more in Ireland in the thirteenth 
century the social units depended on the barons' 
swords and the military power at their command 
for protection against the border clans, ever on the 
look out for a weak place to attack and plunder. 
This great power was no doubt often abused, but 
in practice it was almost the only barrier against 
anarchy. When, therefore, a great fief became 
divided among female heirs whose husbands were 
absentees with greater interests elsewhere, or 
when, during minorities, it was in the hands of 
the Crown and was administered by bailiffs or 
seneschals with no permanent interest in its 
welfare, the disruptive forces, whether internal or 
external, were apt to gather head and become 
difficult of restraint. 

Another source of weakness was the extrava- 
gant provision made for the widow of the pre- 
Thebur- ceding feudal lord. One third of his lands of 

1 4-' 

dower inheritance was normally assigned to her as dower. 
This greatly crippled the power of his successor. 
In the case of the partition of Leinster there were 
no fewer than three widows to be provided for. 
Firstly, Eleanor, the king's sister, widow of 
William Marshal, and now the wife of Simon de 
Montfort, Earl of Leicester. In 1233 Richard 
Marshal agreed to pay her £400 a year in name 
of dower. 1 In 1244 the king became surety for 
Walter Marshal, and undertook in case of default 
to pay this sum and raise the amount out of the 
earl's lands in Ireland. 2 The Countess of Leicester 

1 Close Koll, 17 Hen. Ill, p. 310. 

2 Cal. Pat. Roll, 28 Hen. Ill, pp. 415-16. In 1259-60 


survived her second husband and died c. 1275-6. 
Secondly, Margaret, Countess of Lincoln and 
Pembroke, widow of Walter Marshal. To her 
was assigned in dower the whole county of Kil- 
dare, the manor of Forth in the county of Carlow, 
and lands of the value of £62 17s. id. in the 
manor of Oboy in Leix. To these were afterwards 
added the castles of Kildare and Carbury. 1 The 
seven daughters of Sibyl Marshal, to whom the 
county of Kildare was assigned on the partition, 
had now to be given compensation out of the 
shares of other heirs, so that the burden of the 
Countess of Lincoln's dower might fall equally on 
all the five shares. 2 This involved much litigation 
and expense. Thirdly, Matilda de Bohun, widow 
of Anselm Marshal and afterwards wife of Roger 
de Quency, Earl of Winchester. As her husband 
had not obtained seisin when he died she does not 
appear to have been entitled to dower, but, by 
some arrangement, to her belonged the new and 
the old vill in the County Kilkenny :; (Jerpoint ?). 
She died in 1252 when these lands became 
divisible among the co-heirs. Margaret of Scot- 
land, widow of Earl Gilbert Marshal, died in 1244, 
and Earl Richard was unmarried. 

Whatever disadvantages were inherent in the 
devolution of a Celtic chieftainship — and from the 
point of view of social order and progress they 
were many and grave — the system was at least 
free from these evils of feudal succession. Hence 

most of the heirs were in arrear from the time of the partition : 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, p. 104. 
' Cal. Pat. Kolls, 33 Hen. Ill, p. 40. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 2949, 2988. Margaret 
countess of Lincoln died between Michaelmas 1268 and 
March 1271 : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 850, 896. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 110. 


it was that while the larger Norman fiefs sooner 
or later became divided to the point of weakness 
and, burdened with widows' dowers, devolved 
upon absentee lords, or became merged in the 
Crown, to be regranted in smaller parcels, the 
headship of a Celtic tribe or tribe-group passed 
unimpaired (it might be after a period of internal 
conflict) to the chosen or victorious agnatic suc- 
cessor, 1 and the allegiance of the undivided tribe 
or tribe-group would be given to an adult, resident, 
male protector. 

1 It was not until the next century that, with a view to 
avoiding the evils of a disputed succession, the custom of 
electing a tanist as successor in the lifetime of the ruling 
chief was gradually introduced. 




In this chapter (which may be omitted without 
interruption of the narrative) I propose to give 
a detailed account of the partition of the great 
fief of Leinster among the five daughters of the 
elder William Marshal (or their representatives), 
and to trace the devolution of the several shares 
up to the opening years of the fourteenth century. 
I shall note the pedigree of the family ' only so 
far as is necessary to indicate successive owners, 
and shall direct attention mainly to the division 
of the inherited lands, the situation and value of 
the various seignorial manors, and the names of 
the principal sub-feoffees. 

The partition was finally made in the king's 
court at Woodstock on May 3, 1247, 2 each share 
was so arranged as to be of the estimated annual 
value of £343 5s. 6§rf. The total annual value of General 
Leinster must therefore have been estimated at t^par- * 
£1,716 7s. 8|rf. Each share included a chief tition. 
borough, the future caput haroniae, to which 

1 The Marshal pedigree for this period has been elaborately 
examined by Mr. Hamilton Hall, F.S. A., in Journal R. S. A. I., 
vol. xliii, pp. 1-29, and to his paper, which I have found 
useful, I may refer my readers for further genealogical 

2 For a note on the MS. authorities see App. I to this 


(except in the case of Dunamase) was appurtenant 
the corpus comitatus or ' body of the county '. The 
comitatus may be regarded as a tract of land, or as 
the community of landholders on it. The word 
was also commonly used as here for the county 
court at which those landowners owing suit of 
court were bound to attend. In these liberties 
the county or rather seignorial court was presided 
over, not by the king's sheriff, but by the seneschal 
or other officer of the lord of the liberty. The 
monetary value seems to have consisted of the 
estimated annual profits derived from court-fees 
paid, amercements imposed, fines made, feudal 
dues exacted, and other issues of the county. 
Then there were certain manors in demesne with 
the rents and services appurtenant thereto allotted 
to each share, and in several cases these were 
detached or outlying manors situated in what was 
topographically a different county. Finally, to 
make the shares exactly equal, the excess-value 
of those that exceeded the average was assigned 
out of some specified vill to make up the deficiency 
of those that fell below it. A further complication 
was introduced by the temporary readjustments 
which, as already mentioned, had to be made, 
owing to the assignment of dower to Walter 
Marshal's widow, mainly out of the county of 
Kildare. In fact, simply to say, as is generally 
done, that the five purparties consisted of the 
four counties of Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny, and 
Kildare, and the territory about Dunamase, would 
be to give a very inaccurate conception of the 
actual complications of the partition. 
Matilda's Matilda or Maud, the eldest and at the time of 
share i\ ie partition the only surviving daughter, had been 
& c . twice married, firstly in 1207 to Hugh Bigod, 

Earl of Norfolk, who died in 1225, and secondly 


to William, Earl Warenne, who died in 1240. 
Her share was as follows : 

24 12 


24 1 


11 17 


53 5 


38 18 


72 3 


52 13 


43 6 

28 5 


£ s. d. 
Katherlak burgus 
Corpus comitatus cum assisis et per 

quisitis .... 
Ballidunegan (Ballidongan Babe) 
Futhered (Fothyrd Bbc) 
Tamulyn (Thamolyn Ba) 
Castrurn de Ros 
Burgus de Ros . 
Balisex (Balisax Ba) 

Total (correct) £349 2 11£ 

To which is added a note to the following effect : 
This total exceeds the fifth part (viz. £343 5s. 6\d.) 
by £5 17s. bd. [correct], which amount is assigned 
out of the vill of Balisax to the purparty of 

The places mentioned are as follows : 
The town of Carlow. Here the castle was 
probably built or completed by the younger 
William Marshal who granted a charter, which 
mentions it, to the town. 1 Opposite the castle in 
1307 was a hall in which the pleas of the county 
and assizes were held.- The perquisites of assizes 
were then worth in common years, after deducting 
the fees of the seneschal and other ministers, 
£40, ■' and these formed the principal issues of the 
comitatus. There were 160 burgages in the town. 
; Ballidunegan.' The name seems now to be 
represented by Dunganstown or Bestfield, a town- 
land close to the town of Carlow on the north 
and adjoining Oak Park demesne, which was no 

2 Justiciary Rolls, vol. ii, p. 345. 
The Serjeants of the county used to 
render 20 marks for their serjeancies. 

1 Ante, p. 66. 
3 Ibid., p. 347. 

S251 1 


doubt the park of the manor. The manor appears 
to have passed to Richard de Burgh, who held it 
in 1305, 1 and his successors in title held it of the 
Crown up to at least 1391. 

' Futhered ', Fotharta ui Nualldin, included the 
barony of Forth and part of that of Rathvilly, Co. 
Carlow. The precise caput of the manor is marked 
by the mote of Castlemore, about two miles west 
of Tullow. It had been the principal manor of 
Raymond le Gros, but on his death without issue 
it had reverted to the lordship of Leinster. 3 In 
1307 the town of Castle Fothered contained 79 
burgages and 29 cottages. There is now no town 
or village there. 

'Tamulyn', Tech Moling, now St. Mullins. 
The vill of Techmulin belonged to William de 
Carew, lord of Idrone, c. 1200, seemingly under 
a grant from his uncle Raymond le Gros to Odo 
de Carew, William's father. 4 It must have re- 
verted to the lordship before 1247. In 1307 it 
was held of the Earl of Norfolk by Richard Talun. 
There is an important mote and long rectangular 
bailey at St. Mullins overlooking the Barrow near 
the head of the tideway. 

' Castrum de Ros.' This was at old Ross, four 
miles east of New Ross. There is a mote in the 

1 Justiciary Rolls, vol. ii, p. 136. The manor was prob- 
ably granted by the king to Richard de Burgh, c. 1302, 
when the Earl of Norfolk's lands were in the king's hand and 
before they were restored as estates tail (bound to terminate 
with his life) : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. v, no. 87. The king 
owed Richard de Burgh £4,000 : ibid. no. 371. 

2 Cal. Pat. Roll (Ireland), 15 Richard II, p. 147 b (12). 
There are several previous references to Balydongan, Co. 
Carlow, in the same volume. 

3 Ante, vol. i, p. 387. 

4 Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. i, pp. 112-13, and 
cf. ibid., vol. ii, p. 98. 


1 castle field ' near an ancient mill-race, but no 
remains of the stone buildings mentioned in the 
extent of 1307. It had probably been a seignorial 
centre from Strongbow's time. 1 It was surrounded 
by the forest of Eos, which, as delimited by Richard 
Marshal, embraced rather more than the present 
parishes of Old Ross, Kilscanlan, and Carnagh. 2 

'Burgus de Ros.' This was the villa novi pontis 
or de Rosponte, now New Ross, to which reference 
has already been made. In 1265 owing, it is said, 
to disturbances consequent on a feud between 
Walter de Burgh and Maurice Fitz Maurice, the 
town was hastily enclosed with a fosse and vallum, 3 
and by 1279 it had walls and gates. 4 The rent 
paid by the burgesses was £25 6s. 8^., and as the 
usual burgage rent was only twelve pence, this 
implies upwards of 500 burgages. A charter was 
granted to New Ross by Roger le Bigod, Earl of 
Norfolk, c. 1279, but it appears from it that the 
burgesses claimed to have received a charter from 
William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke (probably 
the first earl), granting them as full liberties as 
the burgesses of Bannow, or Kilkenny, or Wexford, 
or any burgesses of Leinster enjoyed. These 
liberties were set forth and confirmed to the 
burgesses of New Ross by Richard II on 
December 12, 1389. 5 

' Insula.' This is the place now known as the 
Great Island in the parish of Kilmokea, Co. Wex- 

1 Ante, vol. i, p. 374. 

- Chart. St. Mary's, vol. ii, p. 154. 

:t See the old French poem, the text of which was printed 
in Archaeologia, vol. xxii, and again with L. E. L.'s (Mrs. 
George Maclean's) spirited rendering in Crofton Croker's 
\ Popular Songs of Ireland ', pp. 277-304. 

4 See Hore's Hist, of Wexford, vol. i, pp. 142, 148. 

5 Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, pp. 84-6. 

F 2 


ford. It, however, is no longer an island, the 
Barrow now flowing only on its western side. It 
was the caput baroniae of Hervey de Montmorency's 
fief, and much of the lands of the baronies of 
Shelburne and Bargy were held of it. 1 

■ Balisex.' Ballysax, a parish in Kildare to the 
south of the Curragh. This was a detached manor. 

Matilda Marshal died in 1248. She was 
succeeded by her son Roger, fourth Earl of Norfolk 
and Marshal of England. He died without issue 
in 1270, when his nephew Roger, the fifth earl, 
son of his brother Hugh, succeeded. Nearly 
100 rolls of accounts of the bailiffs of his Irish 
manors have been preserved, and from them 
we can glean a great deal of rare information 
about the management and working of his 
lordship of Carlow. 2 In 1302 he surrendered 
his Irish lands to the king, receiving them back 
as an estate in tail, and he died without issue on 
December 11, 1306. According to the inquisitions 
taken in 1305 and 1307 3 his lands were worth 
beyond reprises and costs of custody £343 0s. lfd, 
so that up to this date there was no falling off in 

In addition he held advowsons to the value of 
£38, and 35-^ knights' fees were held of him. 

1 Ante, vol. i, p. 393. In 1307 there were about 110 
burgages in the town of the Island : Just. Roll, vol. ii, 
p. 349. Much of the original grant to Hervey de Montmorency 
had been alienated in ' free alms ' to the monasteries of 
Dunbrody and Tintern ; also to the Templars. 

2 See Hore's History of Old and New Ross, pp. 142-61, 
also my pamphlet on New Ross in the thirteenth century, and 
Mr. James Mill's paper, Journ R. S. A. I., vol. xxii (1892), 
p. 50. 

3 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. v, nos. 367, 617 ; and Justiciary 
Rolls, vol. ii, pp. 41, 344-50. Cal. Inquis. P. M., Ed. I, 
vol. iv, pp. 304-9. 


His principal tenants by knights' service were (in 
Co. Carlow) Edmund le Boteller, who held 4 
knights' fees at Tullow, Nicholas de Carew, who 
held 5 knights' fees in Idrone, William de 
St. Leger, who held 6 knights' fees in Obargy, 1 
and Reginald de Dene, who held 2 knights' fees 
in Kellistown. In County Wexford there were 
a number of smaller tenants holding of the Earl 
of Norfolk by knights' service, of which the 
following were among the most noted : Maurice 
de Caunteton at Glascarrig, Nicholas Brown at 
Mulrankin, Nicholas Keating at Kilcowan, the 
heir of Reginald de Dene in the barony of Keir 
or Keyrey (Clock na g-caerach, where the old 
manorial centre is, now called Wilton 2 ), and John 
de Sutton at Ballybrazil. 3 

On the death of Earl Roger without issue his 
vast estates reverted to the Crown and, including 
the honour of Carlow or the greater part of it, 
were afterwards regranted to Thomas of Brother- 
ton, son of Edward I, who was created Earl of 
Norfolk and Marshal of England. In his hands 
and those of his successors the lordship soon 
became much depreciated in value. 

Joan Marshal, the second daughter, married Joan's 
(after 1219) Warm de Munchensi (Monte Caniso), 5*l are 
but she was dead at the time of the partition and &<f * 01 ' 
was represented by her son John de Munchensi. 
John died shortly afterwards, and his heir was 
his sister Joan, already married to William de 

1 Obargy, ui Bairchi. The manor here, with centre at 
Killeshin, would seem to have been formed by John de 
Clahull, Strongbow's marshal : ante, vol. i, p. 385. William 
de St. Leger married Joan, daughter and heir of Hugh PurcelL 

2 Tnquis. Lagenie, Wexford, no. 16 Jac. I. 

3 For the inquisitions taken in 1307 see Cal. Justiciary 
Rolls, vol. ii, pp. 344-50. 


Valence, the king's half-brother, and on August 13, 
1247, seisin was ordered to be given to them. 1 
This share appears to have been as follows : 

£ s. d. 

Weseford burgus . . . . 42 1 5 

Corpus comitatus, ut supra . . 50 12 6 

Odoch (Odogh in com. Kilken. Bb) . 42 10 4 

Rosclar 68 19 11 

Karrec (Carryk Ba) . . . . 23 15 

Femes 81 15 

Banno 2 31 10 

In the vill of Taminie (Taghmone Ba) 

from the surplus of Kildare . 1 15 2| 

Total of above items 3 £342 10 2^ 

Of these places Wexford was a walled town of 
the Ostmen at the time of the Invasion. The 
mound on which the later castle stood just touched 
the southern extremity of the walls, and was 
probably the first addition to the defences thrown 
up by the Normans. We first hear of a (stone) 
castle at Wexford on the death of the younger 
W r illiam Marshal in 123 1, 4 but it may have been 
erected by his father or earlier. A charter to the 
borough (known through an inspeximus) was 
granted by Aymer de Valence on July 25, 1317, 
but from it we learn that Geoffrey Fitz Robert, 
who was seneschal of the elder William Marshal, 
c. 1200, founded the borough and fixed the 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 2900. 

2 This item omitted in A is supplied from Babe. 

3 The total given in A is £341 10s. 4Jd. ; that in Babe is 
£343 5s. ll^rtL, which is almost precisely the aliquot part of 
the whole, but neither total is made up by the items given. 

4 Ante, p. 59. In 1324 there was ' a stone castle at 
Wexford with four towers roofed with shingles', also a hall 
similarly roofed and two houses roofed with straw, all in bad 
state of repair : Inquis. P. M. (Aymer de Valence), July 26, 
18 Ed. II. I quote from a transcript in my possession. 


burgage rent at twelve pence. 1 In this respect it 
was like New Ross, Kells, and other boroughs. 

' Odoch ' (id Duacli), now Odagh on the Nore, 
about five miles above Kilkenny. The mote here 
close to the parish church probably dates from 
Strongbow's time. 2 The castle is mentioned in 
1231. There were 110 burgages in 1307. This 
was the only detached manor of this purparty. 

' Rosclar' (probably Bos a(n) cMdir, 'the peninsula 
of the plank-bridge '), now Rosslare, Co. Wexford. 
From the high value of this manor and from the 
inquisition on the lands of Aymer de Valence it 
would seem that a large part of the barony of 
Forth, let to tenants at rents, was appurtenant to 
the manor. 

' Karrec ', now Carrick on Slaney or Ferry Car- 
rick, two miles above the town of Wexford. The 
castle, which was built on the site of Robert Fitz 
Stephen's ' chastel sur Slani ', 3 is one of those 
mentioned in 1231. It was still in existence in 
1307, but was vacuum et fractum, with ruined hall 
and chapel, in 1324. There were about 112 
burgages here in 1307, of which three were waste 
in 1324. 

' Femes ' : for the castle and seignorial manor of 
Ferns see ante, p. 54. The castle, which was still 
intact though needing repair at the death of Aymer 
de Valence, when the surrounding country was in 

1 Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, p. 47. At the death 
of Joan de Valence (1307) there were 365^ burgages formerly 
worth £18 6s. Qd., but then only £11 18s. Qd., because 
127 burgages were waste: Inquis. P. M., l*Ed. II. At the 
death of Ayiner de Valence there were only 110 burgages. 

2 Ante, vol. i, p. 232. ' A mote upon which are two 
houses roofed with straw ' is mentioned at Odagh in 1324 : 
Inquis. P. M., Aymer de Valence. 

3 Ante, vol. i, p. 376, and Hore's History of Wexford Town, 
pp. 22-35. 


the hands of the hostile Irish, seems finally to 
have fallen into the hands of the Kavanaghs in 
1359. 1 

' Banno ' : the Irish name for Bannow Bay was 
cuan an bhainbh, ' the harbour of the sucking-pig ', 
a name probably to be connected with ' Banba ', 
a bardic name for Ireland. This was the landing- 
place of Robert Fitz Stephen in 1 169. The borough 
was seemingly formed here and granted privileges 
by Geoffrey Fitz Robert, seneschal of the elder 
William Marshal. In 1307 there were nearly 160 
burgages here. In 1324 the manor was valued 
at about £26. In the middle of the seventeenth 
century there were a number of thatched houses 
here arranged along named streets and possessed 
and owned by people of English or Flemish 
name, 2 but now there are no visible remains of 
the town except the ruined church of St. Mary 
and a thirteenth-century stone coffin-lid. 

' Villa de Taminie ' (read Tamune) : Taghmon 
(Tech Munna). This vill was assigned to the 
purparty of Kildare, but the sum of £l 15s. 2§d. 
out of it was assigned to the purparty of Wexford. 

William de Valence was created Earl of Pem- 
broke in 1264 and died in 1296. 3 Joan, Countess 
of Pembroke, died in 1307, 4 when her heir was 
Aymer de Valence, who died s. p. June 23, 1324. 5 

In the inquisition taken in 1307 after the death 

1 Cal. Close Roll (Ireland), 33 Ed. Ill, p. 77 b (31). For 
the interim history of the castle see Hore's Wexford 
(Ferns), p. 10. 

2 See Hore's History of Wexford (Duncannon, &c), 
pp. 459-61. 

3 Pipe Eoll (Ireland), 25 Ed. I, 38th Rep. D. K.,pp. 41-2 ; 
Inquis. P. M., 24 Ed. I, Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. iv, no. 306. 

4 Inquis. P. M., 1 Ed. II, no. 56 ; Cal. Inquis., vol. v, p. 22. 
6 Inquis. P. M., 18 Ed. II, no. 518 ; Cal. Inquis., vol. vi, 

pp. 324-7. 


of Joan de Valence her lands were valued at 
£324 10s. 9~d. The manor of Ferns, in the north 
of the county, had become reduced in value by 
more than one half, but on the other hand the 
manor of Roslare, which included the barony of 
Forth, had increased in value to £114 18s. Id. 
There were tenants holding by military service 
29J knights' fees, but their names are not given. 
At the death of Aymer de Valence in 1324 a 
marked depreciation had occurred, and his lands 
were valued at £214 15s. 10\d. In particular the 
seignorial manor of Ferns, which included 19,200 
acres formerly yielding £80, was now waste on 
account of the war of the Irish. There were 
several tenants holding by military service in the 
southern half of the county belonging to families 
which for centuries were prominent there, e.g. 
D'Evreux or Deveroys at Adamstown, Whittey at 
Ballyteigue, Keating at Kilcowan, Stafford at 
Ballymacarne, Synnot at Ballybrenan, Lamport at 
Ballyhire, De la Roche in Shelmalier West, Codd 
at Carnsore, French at Tacumshin. The manor 
of Roscarlan (now Rosegarland), formerly belong- 
ing to Maurice de Londres, was held by George 
le Poer in right of his wife Matilda de Londres, 
from whom it passed to Matilda's son and heir 
(by a former husband), Thomas Lynet, and from 
him to his daughter Isabel, wife of Simon Nevill. 1 
But most of the fiefs held on military tenure in 
the northern part of the county no longer rendered 
royal service ' because they were waste and de- 
stroyed by the war of the Irish '. Among these 
we may recognize the large fiefs held by Maurice 
de Rochfort in the Duffry in connexion with 

1 Close Roll (Ireland), 32 Ed. Ill, p. 68 (28), and Rich. II, 
p. 128 b (19). 


Enniscorthy Castle, 1 and by George de Roche in 
Shelmalier and about Courtown near Gorey. 2 
Other fiefs were held by Gilbert, son of William 
Fitz Ely, at Cherlegonay (Killegny ?), 3 by Reginald 
de Ny vel at Gorey and Balyconewy (Ballycanew), 4 
and by Hoel, son of Stephen, at Carrickbyrne, 5 
and there were several others at places more 
difficult to identify. 
Isabel's Isabel Marshal, the third daughter, married 

KilSnn C * 1217 her cousin Gilbert de Clare, Earl of 

&c i my ' Gloucester and Hertford, and in 1231 Richard, 

Earl of Cornwall, the king's brother. Both she 

and her first husband were dead at the time of 

the partition and were represented by their son, 

Enniscorthy Castle, after the death of John de Rochfort 
(before 1377), was in the king's hand and was held by 
Matthew Fitz Henry up to the close of the fourteenth century, 
when it seems to have fallen into the hands of the Mac 
Murroughs : Hore's Hist, of Wexford, vol. vi, p. 352. 

2 He held 4^ knights' fees ' in Schyrmal and Kynalo '. 
The former is perhaps Shelmalier, but the latter name is 
puzzling. ' Curtun in Kinelahun, or Kinelaon, in the County 
of Wexford ' was held before 1281 by Christiana de Mariscis, 
and by her then granted to the king: Cal. Docs. Irel , vol. ii, 
nos. 1801, 2339, and p. 462. Adam John de Roche then 
applied for a grant of it : ibid., p. 561. This was probably 
the place, now Courtown near Gorey. For subsequent 
records see Hore's Hist, of Wexford (Ferns, &c), p. 342. 

3 'Kylaugy ' (or better, Kylangy), Co. Wexford, was held 
for life by Maurice Fitz Maurice (died 1286) of the inheritance 
of Maurice de Rochfort : Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. hi, no. 463. 
There is a mote at Killegny. 

4 ' Ballyconnoe, alias Baronscourt, alias Nevelscort ' : 
Inquis. Lagenie (Wexford), no. 53 Car. I (anno 6), showing 
that after a lapse of three centuries the former ownership of 
the Nyvel or Neville family still left its trace. 

5 On the western slope of Carrickbyrne Hill is 'Courthoyle', 
where there are remains of a castle and also earlier earth- 
works. The capella and domus of ' Hoel of Karrothobren ' 
are mentioned in the deforestation Charter of Richard 
Marshal : Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, p. 155. 


























Richard, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford. His 
share is given as follows : 

Kilkenny burgus .... 
Corpus comitatus, ut supra 
Dunf'ert .... 
Locmadran (Loghmethran Ba, Logh- 
mera Bbc) ..... 
Grenan (Brenan Bab, Brenam Be) 
Callan 1 ..... 

The total is given in all versions as £346 

To which is added a note to the effect that this 
total exceeds the fifth part (£343 5s. §\d.) by 
£3 Is. lOd. [which is correct], and this amount is 
assigned out of the vill of Callan to the purparty 
of Dunamase. But as the items given, even in- 
cluding the valuation of Callan, only amount to 
£282 2s. 7- 2 d., it is clear that there are important 
omissions. In the extent of the lands of Joan, 
widow of Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, 
taken in 1307, in addition to the above, the 
following seignorial property is included : the old 
and the new vill of Jerpoint, the manor of 
Palmerston (near Kilkenny), the boroughs of 
Coillauch (Coolaghmore ? in the barony of Kells), 
and Kilmanagh (in the barony of Crannagh), the 
lands of Ballycallan, &c. (in Crannagh), and the 
vill of Rosbercon. 2 We may conjecture that some 
or all of these places have been omitted. 

Of the places mentioned, the chief points of 
what is known of the origin of the town and 

' ' Callan ' omitted in A is supplied from Babe. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ire]., vol. v, no. 653, &c. Besides the above, 
' Hillyd ', i. e. Ullid in Iverk, had reverted to the countess, 
and the manor of Fermaille, i. e. Fermoyle in the parishes of 
Durrow and Rosconnel. had been purchased by the earl from 
William de St. Leger: ibid. 668, 670. 


castle of Kilkenny have already been noted. 1 In 
1307 the castle consisted of 'una aula quatuor 
turres una capella una mota et alie domus diverse 
ad idem castrum necessarie '. There were then 
about 330 burgesses in the town, and the total value, 
including perquisites of assizes, was £136 4s. 0\d. 
^ Dunfert ' (Dun Ferta, 'the dun of the cemetery' 2 ), 
now corruptly Danesfort in the barony of Shille- 
logher. A natural esker-mound surrounded by a 
shallow ditch and low outer rampart seems to be 
the original Dunfert. In appearance as well as in 
name it suggests a pre-Christian burial site. But 
the extent of 1307 states that ' there are in the 
manor within the enclosure one hall, one chamber, 
one dairy, one grange, one bretage beyond the 
gate, and other wooden houses'. Further on a 
dovecot is valued. This description suits the 
remains at Danesfort Cross Roads better than the 
ancient Dunfert. If this was the site, as I think 
it was, the 'bretage' was built within a small 
circular fort fifty paces in diameter and artificially 
raised about ten feet, and the other buildings 
mentioned were in a very large circular enclosure 
close by, surrounded by a deep ditch and inner 
bank and containing traces of buildings. Between 
the small raised fort and this enclosure are the 
ruins of a columbarium fifteen feet in diameter 
and with seventeen tiers of pigeon-holes. 3 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 223-8. 

2 For ferta see the Book of Armagh, f. 12vo., where 
Tirechan tells the strange story of the conversion and death 
of the daughters of King Laeghaire and proceeds : ' Et 
sepelierunt eas . . . et fecerunt fossam rotundam in simili- 
tudinem fertae. Sic faciebant Scotici homines et Gentiles ; 
nobiscum autem rel[ic j vocatur '. Belie (Latin reliquiae) = a 

3 See Journal E. S. A. I., vol. xxxix (1909), p. 321. I have 
since visited and now distinguish the ancient Dun Ferta. 


1 Locmadran ' : now Loughmerans in the parish 
of St. John near Kilkenny. Here in 1307 there 
were a bretage, grange, stable, sheepfold on posts, 
in bad condition and ruinous. The earthworks 
of the bretage, easily discernible, look from the 
neighbouring railway like a mote, but may be 
more properly classed as a promontory fort, fully 
forty feet high, jutting out into the dried-up lake. 
It has a roughly triangular space, twenty-three 
paces by thirteen, on top, cut off by a wide ditch 
from a rectangular bailey. 1 

' Grenan ' : this is now the name of the town- 
land on which the ruins of the castle of Grenan 
stand. 2 The neighbouring town on the Nore 
appears to have been at first called Grenan, but 
was for centuries known as Thomastown and 
called by the Irish Baile mic Antdin, both names 
referring to its founder, Thomas Fitz Anthony, 
who appears to have granted it a charter under 
the name of Grenan. 3 In 1307 the burgesses of 
a fifth part of the vill of Thomastown held their 
burgages of Joan, Countess of Gloucester and 
Hertford, 4 and it would seem that there were then 
about 215 burgesses in the town."' 

' Kalian ' : Callan on the King's River above 
Kells. The elder William Marshal granted a 
charter to this town. There was a castle here in 

1 Ibid. Since writing this paper I have visited the site 
and identified the bretage. 

2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., vol. iv (1856-7), p. 85. 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. v, p. 191. Perhaps Thomastown 
was included in the New and Old Vill of Jerpoint, 
assigned as dower to Maltilda, widow of Anselra Marshal, 
and on her death in 1252 was divided into fifths among 
the co-parceners; cf. Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 110, and 
the grant by Humphrey de Bohun, Carew Cal. Misc., p. 369. 

5 Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, p. 68. 


1247 and in 1307. A large mote in the demesne 
of Westcourt adjoining the town on the north 
side of the river probably marks the original 
site. 1 

Among the tenants by military service of 
Richard, Earl of Gloucester, in 1247, the most 
notable were the following : 2 Stephen of Here- 
ford, presumably the son of that name of Adam 
of Hereford, at Rathdowny in the barony of 
Clandonagh in Upper Ossory ; William le Gras, 
son of ' William Crassus, junior ', and ancestor of 
the Grace family, at Offerlane and Tullaroan ; 
William de St. Leger at Rosconnell and Tulla- 
ghanbrogue ; William Fitz Maurice, ' baron of 
Kiltrany ' or Burnchurch ; John de Valle, a 
name which became W T ale or Wall, at Tulachany ; 
the heir of John Fitz Geoffrey, younger son of 
Geoffrey Fitz Robert and heir to his brother, 
William Fitz Geoffrey, at Kells ; Raymond Fitz 
Griffin, brother and heir of Matthew Fitz Griffin, 
at Knocktopher ; William de Dene, afterwards 
(1260-1) justiciar of Ireland, at ' Ogenty' in the 
parish of Columkille near Thomastown ; 3 Theo- 
bald Butler III at Gowran ; and Miles Fitz David, 
great grandson of David Fitz Gerald, Bishop of 
St. David's, in Iverk. 

Richard, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, son 
of Isabel Marshal, died in 1262 and was succeeded 
by his son Gilbert, who in 1290 married (secondly) 
Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I. As part of 
the marriage-treaty Gilbert surrendered all his 
lands to the king, who regranted them to Gilbert 

1 Journal E. S. A. L, vol. xxxix (1909), p. 319. 
- For the complete list see Chart. St. Mary's, Dublin, vol. ii, 
pp. 404-6. 

3 See Inquis. Lagenie (Kilkenny), no. 20 Jac. I. 


and Joan and the heirs of their bodies. 1 Joan 
outlived her* husband, married Ralph de Mont- 
hermer in 1296, and died on April 19, 1307, and 
from the inquisitions taken soon after her death 
it would seem that her lands in the liberty of 
Kilkenny had not decreased in value. 2 The 
heir of Joan and Gilbert was their son Gilbert de 
Clare, last Earl of Gloucester and Hertford. He 
was slain at Bannockburn in 1314, 3 when his 
heirs were his three sisters, namely, Eleanor, wife 
of the younger Hugh Despenser and afterwards of 
William la Zouche ; Margaret, widow of Piers 
Gaveston and afterwards wife of Hugh d'Audley ; 
and Elizabeth, widow of John de Burgh, eldest 
son of Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster. 4 It was 
this Hugh Despenser's namesake and successor in 
title who in 1391 sold Kilkenny Castle to James 
Butler, third Earl of Ormonde. 

Soon after the death of Earl Gilbert, about 1317, Further 
a partition was effected between his three sisters. [JJ^ ltl0n ' 
To Hugh Despenser and Eleanor were assigned 
the castle of Kilkenny, the borough of Rosbercon 
(which since the separation of New Ross from the 
lordship of Kilkenny had become a port of impor- 
tance and had received a charter 5 from the late 
earl), the manors of Dunfertand ' Kyldermoygh', 6 
some rents and lands at Callan, and the serjeancy 
of Iverk. To Hugh d'Audley and Margaret were 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. iii, nos. 620, 629. 

2 Ibid., vol. v, nos. 653-70. 

3 The issues of two-thirds of his Irish lands in the king's 
hand for about a year ending February 1316 amounted to 
£341 : 42nd Kep. D. K., p. 50. 

4 See 43rd Rep. D. K., p. 44. 

5 Chartae Priv. et Immun., p. 39. 

8 Now the parish of Killermogh in Upper Ossory, adjoin- 
ing the parish of Durrow. 


assigned the boroughs of Kilkenny, ' Coyllagh V 
Thomastown, and Newtown Jerpoint, the manors 
of Bally dowel 2 and Clontubbrid, 3 the pleas and 
perquisites of the manor of Callan, and the 
serjeancy of Odagh. To Elizabeth de Burgo 4 fell 
the castle of ' Offarelan ' (i. e. Castletown, Offerlane, 
ui Fairchellain, in Upper Ossory), which was not 
extended or valued because it was in the march, 
the manors of Fermoyle (in the parishes of 
Durrowand Rosconnell), Ballycallan, Palmerstown, 
Loughmerans (all three not far from Kilkenny), 
and 'Shillercher', 5 the boroughs of Callan and 
Kilmanagh, ' with the capital messuage and park 
of Callan and the demesne lands of the manor 
there ', and the serjeancy of Offerlane and 

The services of the military tenants were distri- 
buted amongst the three parceners, and here we 
may note some new names afterwards famous in 
the history of the county. James Butler, soon to 
become first Earl of Ormonde, had superseded two 

1 Probably Coolaghmore in the barony of Kells. 

2 Probably Ballydowel in the parish of Ballinamara. 

3 Formerly a parish, but now a townland in the parish of 
Sheffin and barony of Crannagh. 

4 As no husband is mentioned we may infer that at the 
date of this partition Elizabeth de Clare was a widow. 
John de Burgh, her first husband, died in June 1313. She 
married Theobald de Verdun II in February 1316, but he 
died in the following July. Afterwards she married Koger 
d'Amory. See Journ. K. S. A. I., vol. xliii (1913), p. 16. 

5 Shillercher represents Sil Faelchair (Onom. Goed.), where 
the /would be silent and the I easily commuted with r. It 
is now, in the form Shillelogher, the name of a barony in 
Kilkenny. In 1358 it appears as the ' cantred of Sileyrthir ', 
and perhaps included the barony of Crannagh as well as that 
of Shillelogher : Cal. Pat. and CI. Bolls (Ireland), p. 74 (64 
and 65). Where precisely the seat of the manor was is 
obscure to me. 




Geraldine families which had become extinct in 
the male line, namely, the descendants of Miles 
Fitz David, who were barons of Iverk, and those 
of Griffin Fitz William, who were barons of 
Knocktopher. We also meet for the first time as 
holders of knights' fees the names of Forestall, 
l'Ercedekne (Archdeacon or Mc Odo), Cantwell, 
Shorthall, and Utlagh. 1 Some of these names 
indeed occur at a much earlier period, but iiot, 
I think, as military tenants in Ossory.-' 

Sibyl Marshal, the fourth daughter, who had Sibyl's 
married William de Ferrers, afterwards Earl of !}V^' e 
Derby, was dead at the date of the partition, & 
leaving as her heirs seven daughters, viz. Agnes, 
wife of William de Vescy, Isabel, wife of Reginald 
de Mohun, Maud de Kyme, a widow, afterwards 
wife of William de Fortibus, Sibyl, wife of Francis 
de Bohun of Midhurst, Eleanor, wife of William 
de Vaux, Joan, wife of John de Mohun (son of 
Reginald de Mohun by a former wife), and Agatha, 
afterwards wife of Hugh Mortimer. 

1 The above notes on the partition of c. 1317 are taken 
from Add. MS. Brit. Mus. 4791, ff. 64-72, collated with 
Carew MS. 635, ff. 40-41. 

2 Odo Archiedekne witnessed the elder William Marshal's 
charter to Kilkenny c. 1208 : Chartae Priv. et Immun., 
p. 34. He was probably the eponym of the Mc Odos (later 
Cody), as the Archdeacons were called by the Irish. Stephen 
Ercedekne witnessed Walter Marshal's charter to Dunbrody 
(1241-5). He married Desire, one of the daughters of 
Thomas Fitz Anthony. 

G. de Kentewell (Cantwell) witnessed the charter of 
Theobald Walteri I to Wodeny : Chartae Priv. et Immun., 
p. 11. 

Geoffrey and William 'Scortall' witnessed John Fitz 
Geoffrey's charter to Kells : ibid., p. 17 ; and the family 
appears at Ballylarkin before 1218 : see History of the 
Cathedral of St. Canice (Graves and Prim), p. 167. 

2251*1 G 

£ s. 


23 2 


73 11 

60 19 


53 19 


83 13 

9 1 

32 1 


7 16 


9 18 



The undivided share of these co-parcenei*s was 
as follows : 

Kildar burgus .... 
Corpus comitatus, ut supra 
Karberie ..... 
Ballimadan .... 


Kumbre ..... 
Tamminie (Thaghmon, Ba) 
Clumena (Clonmen, Ba) . 

Total (as given in all versions) £345 3 11 

Then follows a note (Babe) to the effect that this 
total (viz. £345 3s. lid) exceeds the fifth part by 
£1 18s. 4fd. (correct), of which £l 15s. 2\d. is 
assigned out of the vill of Taghmon to the pur- 
party of Wexford, and 3s. Id. out of the vill of Mon 
to the purparty of Dunmas. 

The partition of this fifth into sevenths was 
perhaps not made immediately. At any rate, as 
we have mentioned, the whole county of Kildare 
was assigned as (part) dower to Margaret Countess 
of Lincoln, widow of Walter Marshal, and in 
consequence a new (temporary) division of Leinster 
was ordered so that each of the earl's heirs should 
have his due portion. 2 We are nowhere given 
a connected account of this compensatory readjust- 
ment, but we can gather from various entries that 
Isabel and Reginald de Mohun, Joan and John de 
Mohun and Sibyl and Frank de Bohun were 
assigned manors out of the purparty of Wexford. 
Their interest in these manors was however bought 
out by William de Valence for an annual payment 

1 So in Ba. With these figures the items amount to Is. 
less than the total given. A has £84 13s. 9d. 

2 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2949, 2988. 


during the life of the countess. 1 Similarly Maud 
(de Kyme) and William de Fortibus received 
compensation out of the purparty of Kilkenny. 2 
Of the other coheiresses Agatha de Ferrers (after- 
wards Mortimer) was assigned the manors of 
Taghmon and Clonmines in Co. Wexford/' and 
Eleanor de Vaux the manor of Castlecomer, 4 as 
part of their permanent shares, and presumably 
had no claim to compensation. Similarly Agnes 
de Yescy seems to have been given ten librates of 
land in Kildare before the manor of Kildare was 
assigned as dower to Walter Marshal's widow. 5 

With reference to the places to be divided 
among the seven daughters of Sibyl Marshal : 

It is stated in a late inquisition that the castle 
of Kildare was built by the elder William Marshal 
on land belonging to the episcopal see, and that 
afterwards the earl (apparently the younger 
William), to make peace, gave to Bishop Ralph of 
Bristol and his successors ten marks a year by way 
of compensation. 6 The site consists of a raised 
platform, partly artificial, on the border of the 
town. One late tower remains. 

After the death of the Countess of Lincoln 
(c. 1270) Agnes de Vescy became entitled to the 
castle and manor of Kildare and the principal 
share of the corpus comitattts, including profits of 
pleas and other issues of the county, but her 

1 Ibid., vol. ii, nos. 29, 103, 628. It was not a purchase 
of their original shares under the partition, as Mr. Hall 

I seems to have thought (Journ. R. S. A. I., vol. xliii, pp. 19, 
21, 23, 24). but only of their compensatory shares during the 
life of the Countess of Lincoln (Cal. Docs. Irel., ii. 139). 

2 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 30. 

:t Ibid., vol. ii, nos. 1109, 1330; vol. v, no. 538. 

4 36th Rep. D. K., p. 31. 

5 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2951. 

6 Ibid., vol. v, no. 132. 

G 2 


sisters Matilda, Eleanor, and Agatha, also shared in 
the corpus and there was litigation concerning 
their rights. This was settled in 1275, when the 
co-parcenary of the three surviving sisters (Eleanor 
had died without issue) was recognized. 1 Agnes 
was dead by June 1290, and was succeeded 
by her son William de Vescy, who was appointed 
justiciar in the following September. In 1297 
William surrendered his lands, including the 
castle manor and county of Kildare, with all its 
liberties to the king.- By a parliament held in 
this year it was enacted that 'the county of 
Kildare. which was formerly a liberty intentive to 
the county of Dublin, be henceforth a county by 
itself with a separate sheriff. 3 In 1316 Edward II 
granted the town and castle to John Fitz Thomas 
of Offaly on his creation as Earl of Kildare. 

' Karberie ' : Carbury, a barony in the north- 
west corner of Co. Kildare. The cantred had 
been granted by Strongbow to Meiler Fitz Henry, 
but on his death had escheated to the Marshals. 4 
The manor of Carbury was assigned to Matilda de 
Kyme, 5 but the Mohuns also had interests in lands 
in Carbury. Matilda died in 1299, when her share 
was again subdivided into four parts among her 
coheirs, each of whom accordingly obtained T f „ 
part of the lordship of Leinster. 

' Ballimadan ' : the name survives as Maddens- 
town in the parish of Ballysax. The manor included 
the marchlands between the marches of Kildare 
and Reban. 6 It was assigned to Sibyl Ferrers and 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos 935, 1096. 

" Ibid., vol. iv, nos. 365, 373-5, and (extent) 481. 

3 Early Statutes (Berry), p. 199. 

4 Ante, vol. i, p. 378. 

5 Pipe Eoll (Ireland), 31 Ed. I, 38th Rep. D. K., p. 81. 

6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iii, p. 267. 


Frank de Bohun. 1 Their son John sold it and his 
interest in Castlecomer to John de Saunford, Eschea- 
tor of Ireland and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin. 
The archbishop died 1297, a bastard and without 
heirs, when the king seized the lands, but restored 
them in 1302 to James, son of John de Bohun. 2 
At his death in 1306 the lands were worth 
£55 16s. 3 In 1323 John, son of James de Bohun, 
obtained seisin. 4 

' Mon ' (Moin Coluimb) : Moone, now the name 
of a barony united with that of Kilkea. The 
lands included Ardscull (where in 1282 there 
were 160 burgages), Mullaghmast, Belan, and 
Glassely. The younger William Marshal granted 
a charter to the town of Moone. 5 Near the town, 
in the demesne of Moone- Abbey House, are the 
remains of an ancient castle. William son of 
Isabel Ferrers and Reginald de Mohun held at his 
death in 1282 lands in the manor of ' Grange 
Mohun', or the grange of Moone, and also in 
Carbury and 'Aliwine' or 'Alewyn' (Almu g. 
almlmine, a name surviving in the Hill of Allen) 
in Co. Kildare, and at ' le Cumbre ' (Castlecomer, 
Co. Kilkenny). In 1297 his lands were partitioned 
between his daughters Mary and Eleanor, wives 
respectively of John de Merriet and John de 
Carew. 7 In 1299 John de Mohun, grandson of 
the John de Mohun who married Joan Ferrers, 

1 36th Eep. D. K., p. 32. 

- Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, pp. 272, 456 ; Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
ii, 1683; iii, 480; v, 361. 

:t Justiciary Rolls, vol. ii, p. 291 ; Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
v, 530 ; 39th Rep. D. K, p. 23. 

4 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 18 Ed. II, 42 Rep. D. K., p. 58. 

5 Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, pp. 369-71. 

6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 1963, 2324 ; Pipe Roll 
(Ireland), 26 Ed. I, 38th Rep. D. K., p. 38. 

7 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, nos. 437, 499. Cf. the 
pedigree of the Carews of Idrone ; infra, p. 155. 


surrendered all his lands in Ireland to the king. 1 
These lands seem to have been in the same manors 
as those of William de Mohun. 2 They were valued 
in 1305 at £58 9s. 8{d. 

• Kumbre ' (an Comar, ' the confluence ') : Castle- 
comer, Co. Kilkenny. The mote which marks the 
castle-site remains. 3 The manor, as we have said, 
seems to have been originally assigned to Eleanor 
de Vaux, but after her death it was divided among 
the other heiresses. 

' Tamminie ' (we should probably read here and 
elsewhere in A Tam[m]une) : Tech Munna, now 
Taghmon, Co. Wexford. A square tower of 
uncertain date remains. The manor, along with 
that of Clonmines, was assigned to Agatha Ferrers 
and Hugh Mortimer. 4 

' Clumena' (Clualn mini) : Clonmines, Co. Wex- 
ford. The form Clonmines only appears in quite 
late documents, and is probably due to a false 
etymology, as some lead and silver mines were 
worked here in the middle of the sixteenth century."' 
The site is now remarkable for a group of castles 
and -churches, none of which, however, appears to 
date from the thirteenth century. A franchise or 
liberty appears to have been granted to the town 
by William Marshal, and was claimed by Agatha 
Mortimer as against the liberty of Wexford.''' 
Besides Taghmon and Clonmines, Agatha held at 
her death in 1306 parcels of land in Carbury, 
Co. Kildare, and at Newtown-Jerpoint, Co. Kil- 
kenny. 7 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, nos. 566, 677. 

2 Ibid., vol. v, 335 ; Justiciary Roll, vol. ii, pp. 28-30. 
;i Ante, vol. i, p. 376. 

4 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 1299, 1445. 

6 See Hore's Hist, of Co. Wexford (Tintern, &c), pp. 233-62. 

6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1330. 

7 Ibid., vol. v, no. 538. 


The services due in respect of the twelve knights' 
fees held by the barons of Naas were divided into 
four parts. Three of these parts were rendered 
to William de Vescy, John de Mohun, and 
William de Mohun respectively, and the fourth 
presumably to one of the other coheirs. The 
most notable of the other tenants by knight's 
service of William de Vescy at the time of his 
death in 1297, were Ralph Pipard at Leixlip and 
other places, Waleran de Wellesley at 'Kynheygh' 
(Kineagh in the parish of Kilcullen?), Robert 
Percival, William's seneschal, and Geoffrey le Bret, 
who married one of the heiresses of the barons of 

Eva Marshal, the fifth and youngest daughter, Eva's 
married William de Braose, grandson of the ^ are 
William de Braose who was persecuted by King ma8e ,"& c . 
John. They were both dead at the partition, 
leaving three daughters as coheiresses, viz. Maud, 
wife of Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, Eva, wife of 
William de Cantilupe, and Eleanor, wife of 
Humphrey de Bohun, eldest son of the Earl 
of Hereford. 

The share of Roger Mortimer and his parceners 
was as follows : 

£ s. d. 

Dummas burgus .... 

Obboy (Oboy Bab) .... 

Achkbo ...... 

Karnebo (Carneboth comitatus Weys- 

ford Babe) .... 

In the vill of Balisex of the surplus 

of Katherlak .... 
In the vill of Kalian of the surplus 

of Kilkenny . . . . 3 1 10 

In the vill of Mon of the surplus of 

Kildar . . . . .31 
















Total (correct) £343 4 6| 


Of these places ' Dummas ' (Dun Masc) is now 
written Dunamase. The ruins of a strong castle 
crowning a precipitous rock, with three walled 
baileys descending the hill-slope, are still to be 
seen, but the existing remains are apparently of 
later date than the thirteenth century. 1 The 
honour was assigned to Maud and Roger Mortimer, 
and the latter at his death in 1282 held lands in 
right of his wife valued at £171 7s. 6|d, a sum 
which indicates an advance in value. At this 
period there were 127 free burgages in the New 
Town of Leix. 2 The very site of this borough has 
been forgotten, but it may, not improbably, have 
been on an adjoining hill, a little to the west of 
the Rock of Dunamase, where ' site of ancient 
village ' is marked on the Ordnance Survey (Index) 
Map. The services due in respect of the twelve 
knights' fees held by the barons of Offaly were 
equally divided between the three daughters of 
Eva Marshal. Besides his share in these, to 
Roger Mortimer were assigned the services of 
Walter de Ridelisford at Castledermot and Kilkea, 
of Walter de l'Enfant in Allewyn (Allen), and of 
Robert de St. Michael in Reban. 3 Edmund 
Mortimer, son and heir of the above-named Maud 
and Roger, died in 1304. His son and heir was the 
Roger Mortimer who married Joan of Geynville, 
heiress of the liberty of Trim. He was created 
Earl of March in 1328, and met a traitor's doom 

1 See ante, vol. i, p. 375 ; vol. ii, p. 217. 

2 For the extent of Roger Mortimer's lands see Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. ii, no. 2028. ' Maimolieth ', where there were 
betaghs, probably represents Magh Muilchiath, in Leix, where 
a battle was fought in 1042 (Four Masters). Many other 
place-names, hard to identify, are mentioned in the extent. 

3 For the early records of the manors of Castledermot and 
Kilkea see ante, vol. i, p. 386, and for the manor of Reban, 
ibid., p. 383. 


in 1330, when the honour of Dunamase escheated 
to the king. 

' Obboy ' (ui Buidhe) : the name of a deanery in 
the diocese of Leighlin, approximately the barony 
of Ballyadams, Queen's County. In the townland 
of Castletown near the church is a mote. This 
was the ' Balliscaslan O'Moy ' or ' Castletown 
O'Moy' of later times, 1 and probably marks the 
manorial centre. William de Cantilupe (d. 1254) 
was succeeded by his son George, who died in 
1273, soon after coming of age. 2 His heirs were 
John de Hastings, son of his sister Joan, and his 
sister Milicent, wife of Eudo la Zouche. A parti- 
tion was ordered, 3 and in 1277 the custody of the 
manor of Oboy (where the lands of John de 
Hastings lay) was given to Miles of Down. 4 In 
1283 John de Hastings obtained seisin. 5 He 
married a sister of Aymer de Valence, and in 1339 
his grandson Lawrence Hastings was created 
Earl of Pembroke. 

' Achkbo ' (Achadh-ho) : Aghaboe in Queen's 
County. In 1278, Milicent (as heir of George de 
Cantilupe) and Eudo la Zouche successfully claimed 
the presentation to the church of Aghaboe against 
the Bishop of Ossory, 7 and from this we may infer 
that the advowson of Aghaboe was part of their 
share of the Cantilupe inheritance. Milicent's 
heir was her son William la Zouche, who did 

1 Fiants, Elizabeth, nos. 5147, 5424 ; Inquis. Lagenie 
(Queen's Co.), no. 22 Jac. I. 

- Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 985, and cf. 956. 

3 Ibid., no. 1008. 

4 Ibid., no. 1401 ; cf. 38th Rep. D. K., p. 71. 

5 Ibid., no. 2107. 

' For the site and early history of the manor of Aghaboe, 
see ante, vol. i, pp. 388-9. 

7 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1450. 


homage for his mother's lands in March 1299. 1 
In February 1300, however, Gilbert de Bohun, 
late seneschal of Kilkenny, held the manor of 
Aghaboe, 2 under grant from his brother Humphrey 
de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. So we may conclude 
that the Cantilupe lands were mostly confined to 

' Karnebo ' : this place more often written 
' Carneboth ', appears to have been within the 
liberty of Wexford and on the confines of the 
liberty of Carlow. 3 The Irish form of the name 
appears as Carnbuada, ' the Cam of Victory ', in 
the grant by Donnell Reagh Kavanagh Mac 
Murrough, Lord of Leinster, to the Abbey of 
Duiske in 1473. 4 We need have little hesitation 
in identifying it with Carnew, a parish partly in 
Co. Wexford and partly in Co. Wicklow. It was 
assigned to Eleanor and Humphrey de Bohun. 5 
Eleanor's son and heir Humphrey in 1274 suc- 
ceeded his grandfather as Earl of Hereford and 
Essex, and granted his lands in Carneboth, 
Aghaboe, and Moone, to his brother Gilbert. 6 
Services The 100 services originally reserved in the 
of Lem- grant of Leinster were, in the reign of Edward I 
and previously, distributed as follows : 33 | services 
(| of the whole, or in money value £66 13s. 4d.) 
were due from the liberty of Kildare, and the 
remaining 66J services were divided evenly be- 
tween the liberties of Carlow, Wexford, and 
Kilkenny, so that each owed £44 85. 10- 2 cV This 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, no. 599. 

2 Justiciary Eoll, vol. i, p. 397. 

;t See Justiciary Kolls, vol. i, p. 142. 

4 Proc. K. I. A., vol. xxxv (c), p. 149. 

5 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2978. 

6 Cal. Carew MSS. (Miscellaneous), p. 447. 

7 See Exchequer Memoranda, English Historical Review, 
vol. xviii (1903), p. 505 ; and Irish Pipe Rolls, passim. 


seemingly unequal arrangement appears to have 
originated as follows. When the partition was 
made, Margaret Countess of Lincoln, widow of 
Walter Marshal, held her dower lands (which as 
already mentioned consisted of ' the whole county 
of Kildare, the manor of Fothered, and lands of 
the value of £62 17s. 4=d. in the manor of Oboy ') 
subject to 3 of the 100 services, 1 and the lords of 
the other three liberties were each subject to \ of 
the remaining f . After the widow's death this 
arrangement was continued, and the county of 
Kildare bore | of the whole. Why the honour of 
Dunamase did not bear its share of the services is 
perhaps not quite clear, but for some reason it 
was not constituted a separate county, but was 
regarded as in the county of Kildare. In the 
inquisition taken in 1288, after the death of 
Roger de Mortimer, 2 'Dumasek' (Dunamase) is 
described as ' in the tenement of Leys (Leix) in 
the county of Kildare '. For the same reason in 
the partition of 1247 there is no item 'corpus 
comitatus ' in the purparty of Roger de Mortimer 
and his parceners. Nevertheless from the same 
inquisition it appears that Roger de Mortimer 
rendered to the king the service of 63 knights, 
i.e. I of I of 100 services, or his full proportionate 
share, and presumably his two parceners were 
each subject to a similar burden. Whether the 
services of the honour of Dunamase were all 
included in the 883 services of Kildare, or whether 
by some arrangement between the lords of the 
liberties they were so distributed that each of the 
five honours really bore only 20 services, I have 
not been able to discover. 

1 Pipe Roll (Ireland). 46 Hen. Ill, 35th Rep. D. K., p. 42. 
- Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 2028. 




There are several versions of this partition, all of which 
may, I think, be referred to one or other of two originals. 
I group them as follows : 

A. Chancery Miscellaneous Roll, no. 320, m. 3 dors., 
calendared by Sweetman, Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 933. 
This is undated, but referred to the time of Henry III. 

An inspeximus of the same by Ed. Ill (1347-8), tran- 
scribed by Gilbert, Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, 
vol. ii, App. 1, and ; Viceroys ', pp. 516-18. In this ver- 
sion the honours are arranged in the order Kilkenny, 
Wexford, Kildare, Carlow, Dunamase, and are ascribed 
respectively to the daughters Isabella, Johanna, Sibilla, 
Matilda, Eva (or their representatives), but nothing is 
stated as to the seniority of the daughters. 

B. (a) Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 4791, ff. 64-72 (a Clarendon 
MS.), headed ' In quodam antiquo rotulo '. The account 
of the partition is here preceded by some annalistic entries 
mainly concerning the Marshal family and substantially 
identical with those contained in the Register of Dun- 
brody (Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, pp. 140-4), 
and is followed (1) by an entry giving the division of 
Kilkenny among the three daughters of Gilbert de Clare, 
Earl of Gloucester, and Joan his wife (c. 1317), stated in 
the margin (by another hand) to be taken from the book 
of the Convent of the Friars Minors of Kilkenny ; (2) by 
a transcript of the royal patents for Gilbert de Clare and 
Joan (1247), similar to that published in Chart. St. Mary's 
Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, pp. 403-6 ; (3) by some bio- 
graphical notes concerning the families of the daughters 
of William Marshal similar to those in the Register of 
Dunbrody, pp. 144-6, but including the family of the 
fifth daughter Eve. 

(b) Carew MS. 635, ff. 140, 141 b. Here the account 
of the partition of 1247 is also followed by an account of 
the partition of 13 17 between the daughters of Earl Gilbert 
and Joan, and this is followed by genealogical notes, 


similar to those above-mentioned, touching the families 
of the daughters of William Marshal. 

(c) Carew MS. 608, ff. 38 b, 39, calendared in the Miscel- 
laneous volume, pp. 373-4. 

All three B. versions (probably of monastic provenance) 
purport to give the partition made in the court of King 
Henry III at Woodstock, May 3, a.r. 31 (1247), and 
both the several shares and the genealogical notes are 
expressly arranged in the order of the seniority of the Order of 
daughters, viz. Matilda (Carlow), Johanna (Wexford), seniority 
Isabella (Kilkenny), Sibilla (Kildare), and Eva (Duna- of daugh- 
mase). Matilda is called primogenita filia, and the others, William 
in the above order, secunda, tertia, quarta, and quinta. Marshal. 
That Matilda was the eldest is also shown by Close Roll, 
30 Hen. Ill, m. 7 (July 22, 1246), from which it appears 
that the Marshalcy was assigned to her que habet esnedam 
hereditatls, and there is no valid reason to doubt the cor- 
rectness of the order assigned in the B. versions to the 
other daughters. It is true that in the account of the 
daughters given in L'Histoire de Guillaume le Mare'chal 
(11. 14916-56) the order observed is Maud, Isabel, Sibyl, 
Eve, Joan, but the order appears to be that of their 
marriages, and Joan (though the second daughter) was 
married last — after her father's death. Maud was mar- 
ried to Hugh Bigod a little before Lent ] 207, when her 
father went to Ireland; ibid., 13349 ; cf. Cal. Docs. Irel., 
vol. i, no. 313. 

I have dwelt on the evidence touching the order of the 
daughters' birth because Mr. Hamilton Hall in the paper 
to which I have referred (Journal R. S. A. L, vol. xliii 
(1913), pp. 1-29) expresses considerable doubt on the 
subject. But Mr. Hall seems to have been unaware of 
the above B. versions, and to have assumed without 
sufficient grounds that ' Carlow was the least consider- 
able of the Irish Honours '. On this last point it may 
be remarked (1) that the Irish honours were all made of 
equal monetary value, and (2) that the honour of Carlow 
comprised a large slice of the present County Wexford, 
including the port of New Ross, while the great water- 
way of the Barrow connecting the town of Carlow with 
the sea may have given it an actual or prospective value 
over Kilkenny, notwithstanding the greater importance 
of the latter town. The order followed in the A. version 


may have been arbitrarily adopted by the commissioners 
when making their valuations and adjustments before 
the several shares were allotted to the coparceners, 
and may have been afterwards followed by the court 
in the document which recorded the allotment irrespec- 
tive of the order of birth which is not here given. Or 
again it may be that as Matilda got the esneccia of the 
whole inheritance in the castle of Strigul, she was not 
given first choice amongst the Irish honours. 

I have not noticed all the MS. variations in the mone- 
tary values assigned to the items, but, except where 
otherwise stated, have followed the A. version as being 
the most authoritative and seemingly the most correct. 




From the time when Maurice Fitz Gerald and The 
his kith and kin first set foot on the Wexford G. eral - 
coast no family has so continuously played an 
important part in the drama of Irish history as 
the Geraldines. Sprung from the stock of Gerald 
of Windsor and Nest of Wales, they spread out 
in many branches and covered large tracts of the 
island in nearly all directions. The heads of 
the two principal branches became earls of Kildare 
and earls of Desmond respectively, but there 
were many important offshoots, such as the Fitz 
Williams, barons of Naas ; the Fitz Maurices, 
barons of Kerry ; the Carews, barons of Idrone ; 
the Fitz Mileses, barons of Iverk ; the Fitz Griffins, 
barons of Knocktopher ; the Fitz Gibbons or 
white knights ; the knights of Glinn ; the knights 
of Kerry, and many others only less notable. 
The earlier members of the family, along with 
their kinsmen of the half-blood, took a pioneers 
part in the first conquest, and to the literary 
productions of one of them, Gerald de Barry, we 
owe much of our knowledge of the early struggle. 
In the course of the centuries many members of 
the family have held the highest offices of state. 
In their respective districts the heads of some 
branches have ruled at times with almost regal 
authority. They exercised the right of private 


warfare, and some of them with disastrous results 
to themselves even bore arms against the Crown. 
Like other families, they have had their ups and 
downs of fortune, and some lines have become 
extinct or indistinguishable, but it is hardly too 
much to say that there has not been a moment 
in the history of Ireland for seven centuries past 
when some descendant of Gerald of Windsor has 
not been conspicuous among Irishmen for his 
position, his power, or his abilities. To track 
out this great family through all its numerous 
ramifications is of course beyond the scope of this 
or of any purely historical work, if indeed it be 
within the power of man ; but it is essential for 
the student of Irish history to keep these several 
lines distinct, and it is therefore more than a 
matter of mere genealogical interest to ascertain 
the precise starting-points of the main branches 
from the ancestral trunk. 1 
in Naas It will be remembered that Strongbow's grant 
and May- to Maurice Fitz Gerald included the middle cantred 
of Offelan, a name which soon dropped out of use, 
but must be carefully distinguished from Offaly. 2 
This cantred, lying in the northern part of the 

1 For some corrections in the heretofore received pedigrees 
of the Geraldines in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
see my papers on ' The Fitz-Geralds, Barons of Offaly ', in 
Journal R.S.A. I., vol. xliv (1914), pp. 99-112; and on 
' The Origin of the Fitz Maurices, Barons of Kerry and 
Lixnaw ', in Eng. Hist. Review, vol. xxix (1914), pp. 302- 
15 ; and also a correction touching the Barons of Naas, in 
a review of the Gormanston Register, ibid., vol. xxxi (1916), 
pp. 488-9. 

2 Offelan, Ui Faelain, divided into three cantreds, included 
roughly the northern half of the County Kildare ; while at 
this time Offaly, Ui Failghe, included the present King's 
County east of Tullamore, and the two northern baronies of 
Queen's County, but I think very little, if any, of the 
present baronies of Offaly in Co. Kildare. 


present County Kildare, descended to Maurice's 
eldest son, William, who retained in his own 
hands the honour of Naas, of which he is reckoned 
first baron, while he gave half the cantred with 
centres at Maynooth and Rathmore to his brother 
Gerald. 1 This Gerald Fitz Maurice, who was 
ancestor of the earls of Kildare, was also entitled 
at his death in 1203 to the castles and lands of 
Lea and Geashill, 2 the principal Anglo-Norman in Offaly. 
centres in Offaly, and as such has rightly been 
regarded as first Geraldine, Baron of Offaly. The 
barony of Offaly, however, had been granted by 
Strongbow to Robert de Bermingham, and Gerald 
appears to have acquired it by his marriage with 
Eva de Bermingham, who was presumably daughter 
and heiress of Strongbow's grantee. 3 Gerald also 
held lands in Imokilly, County Cork, which he In Im °- 
presumably derived, directly or indirectly, from 1 y ' 
his uncle, Robert Fitz Stephen, 4 and here later on 

1 Ante, vol. i, pp. 379-80. The cantred of Wicklow was 
also included in Strongbow's grant, but the castle of Wicklow 
was resumed by the Crown after Maurice's death. The 
barons of Naas ; however, retained lands there (Cal. Docs. Irel., 
vol. i, no. 1757), some or all of which David Fitz William, 
third baron of Naas, granted to his brother Maurice to be 
held by the service of one knight : Gormanston Register, 
f. 190 d. This grant was confirmed in 1234: Cal. Docs. 
Irel., vol. i, no. 2169. 

- Rot. Pat., 5 John, p. 38, Cal. no. 195. 

; For this marriage and presumed origin of the Fitz Gerald 
property in Offaly see my paper on ' The Fitz Geralds, Barons 
of Offaly ', as above. Eva de Bermingham, Gerald's widow, 
afterwards married (1) Geoffrey Fitz Robert, lord of Kells in 
Ossory, and (2) Geoffrey de Marisco, who held Offaly in her 
right and, after her death, by 'the curtesy of England '. So 
I understand Patent Rolls, 11 Hen. Ill, p. 96, Cal. no. 1458 ; 
cf. Close Rolls, 25 Hen. Ill, p. 215, Cal. no. 2493, where 
Robert de Mariscis, Geoffrey's son, is called brother (of the 
half-blood) of Maurice, the justiciar, son of Gerald. 

4 Ante, vol. ii, p. 44, note 3. 

2261-1 H 


we find his descendants lords of the manor of 

Inchiquin and with seignorial rights in the town 

of Youghal. 

When dealing with the primary infeudation of 

in County the present county of Limerick, 1 we saw that 
Limenck. three of the gQns of the firgt Maurice Fitz Gerald 

obtained lands there. These in the order of birth 
were William, Baron of Naas, who obtained 
Carrickittle in the barony of Small County, 
Gerald, Baron of Offaly, who obtained Croom 
in the valley of the Maigue, and Thomas, who 
obtained Shanid, ' the most ancient house ' of his 
successors, the earls of Desmond, in Connello. 
It is indeed a noteworthy fact that the extension 
of the Anglo-Norman settlement into the territory 
of the O'Briens, as indeed afterwards into the 
territories of the Mac Carthys and the O'Connors, 
was not brought about by new-comers, but was 
principally the work of those who had already 
obtained a foothold elsewhere in Ireland. In 
fact, the little band of kinsmen and neighbours 
The that came from South Wales — Cambro-Normans 

Cambro- an( j Flemings rather than Anglo-Normans — 
settled, increased, and multiplied principally in 
the province of Munster. From the very first it 
was their complaint, voiced with some exaggera- 
tion by Gerald de Barry, that they, who were the 
pioneers of the conquest, were given the remoter 
lands on the Irish marches, while the more 
profitable lands near the coasts of Leinster were 
reserved for new-comers. The grant of the king- 
dom of Cork in 1177 to Robert Fitz Stephen and 
Miles de Cogan determined many of them — 
Barrys, Carews, Cauntetons, Barrets, Fitz Geralds 
— to settle there, and they were soon afterwards 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 164-5. 


followed by Prendergasts and Roches, who had 
been their Flemish neighbours about Haverford. 
It was the adventurers from South Wales that 
seemingly first penetrated under Meiler Fitz 
Henry into Kerry, and it was men of the same 
stock who in the kingdom of Limerick south of 
the Shannon ultimately secured the lion's share 
of the spoil. Even in Oonnaught the first per- 
manent settlers in the beginning of the thirteenth 
century were Gilbert, son of Jocelin of Angle in 
Pembrokeshire, or Mac Goisdelbh (Costello), as 
he came to be called, and the ' Welshmen of 
Tirawley ' ; and though Richard de Burgh was 
the chief figure in the final conquest of that 
province, among his principal supporters, who 
obtained large grants of lands there, were Fitz 
Geralds, Prendergasts, Roches, Barrys, and others 
of half- Welsh extraction or provenance. 

Wherever these semi-Cambrians went they re- 
tained racial characteristics distinct from both 
Anglo-Normans and native Irish. The long train- 
ing which they and their ancestors had undergone 
in somewhat similar conditions among hostile 
Welsh tribes had taught them the best methods 
of coping with the Irish in war, while when peace 
was made their half- Welsh origin inclined them 
the more readily to intermarry with the families 
of Irish nobles and to conform to Irish modes of 
life. Though it is an exaggeration to say that 
they ever became as a body ' Hibernis ipsis hiber- 
niores ', yet even in the thirteenth century these 
Cambro-Normans were less removed from the 
Irish in habits and sentiments than were the new- 
comers of more purely Anglo-Norman origin, and 
to diverse racial characteristics may in part at 
least be ascribed the antagonisms which from 
time to time broke out between them and the 

H 2 


Marshals, lords of Leinster, the de Burghs, lords 
of Connaught, and the Butlers, lords of Kilkenny 
and Ormond. 

Hereafter we shall have occasion to mention 

other branches of the Geraldines, but we are now 

principally concerned with the descendants of 

Thomas, one of the younger sons of the first 

Thomas Maurice Fitz Gerald. This Thomas ' of Shanid ', 

ofShamd. ag we ma y ca n him, was one of the principal 

tenants of the Crown in County Limerick. 1 He 
is said to have married a sister of Geoffrey de 
Marisco, but for this marriage no good authority 
is forthcoming. 2 He was, however, closely con- 
nected with Geoffrey, who shared in the exploita- 
tion of Limerick, and soon after 1211 married 
Eva de Bermingham, widow of his brother Gerald. 
Along with Geoffrey he led a contingent from 
Munster to join King John's army in Ireland in 
1210, 3 and in the same year he took part in the 
expedition led by Geoffrey into Connaught which 
resulted in the King of Connaught submitting to 
King John's will. 4 He was one of the magnates 
of Ireland who protested their loyalty to the king 
in 12 ll, 5 and he died about the close of 1213. fi 

1 He appears as juror on two important inquisitions held 
in Limerick in 1201 : ' Black Book of Limerick ' (Mac Caffrey), 
pp. 27, 29. 

2 Burke, ' Extinct Peerages '. Lodge (Archdall) makes 
Thomas, father of John of Callann, marry Ellinor, daughter 
of Sir William Morrie, but the widow of Thomas Fitz 
Maurice is called Sabina (usually a latinized form of the Irish 
Sadhbh) in Fine Koll, 16 John (Hardy), p. 527, when she 
and Nicholas Fitz Leon fined for the custody of his land and 
heir. The custody was, however, given to Thomas Fitz 7 
Anthony in 1215. 

3 Eot. de Prest. (Hardy), pp. 188, 202 ; ante, vol. ii, p. 248. 

4 Annals of Clonmacnois, p. 223 ; ante, vol. ii, p. 284. 
r> Cal. Docs. Ire!., vol. i, no. 448; ante, vol. ii, p. 310. 
6 Bot. CJaus., 16 John, p. 186 ; Ann. Inisfallen (Dublin 

MS.) where he is called Tomds Mac Muiris mic Gerailt, and this 


The heir of this Thomas, as is well known, was John Fitz 
John Fitz Thomas, often called by late writers JesmoSf 
' John of Callann ' from the scene of his death in 
1261, to distinguish him from his namesake, but 
hardly contemporary, John Fitz Thomas of Offaly, 
afterwards first Earl of Kildare. It would be 
better, however, to speak of the former as ' John 
Fitz Thomas of Desmond ', as he was ancestor of 
the earls of Desmond and was himself the first of 
the family to hold lands there. But Thomas of 
Shanid had another son Maurice, who was in Maurice 
all probability the real founder and eponymous Thomas 
progenitor of the house of Fitz Maurice of Kerry, f Kerry. 
as to the origin of which our professed genealogists 
have been strangely astray. 1 To these sons of 
Thomas Fitz Maurice we shall return by and by, 
but so much having been premised about the 
Geraldines up to this point, it will be necessary 
briefly to review the rival forces in South Munster, 
before piecing together, so far as our scanty 
authorities permit, the story of the Anglo-Norman . 
attempt— for it was only partially successful — to 
gain control in Desmond. 

Early in the thirteenth century the eastern part The 
of the present county of Cork, as well as the jj;" 1 ^ 
present county of Limerick, seems to have been 
in the hands of English landholders and to have 
been thickly settled by them. The original 
seignories granted to Robert Fitz Stephen and 
Miles de Cogan, so far at least as there had been 

description confirms the position assigned to him in the 
more recent pedigrees of the line of Desmond. 

1 See my paper on ' The Fitz Maurices, Barons of Kerry 
and Lixnaw, afterwards Earls of Kerry', as above, where 
the alleged descent from Raymond le Gros is clearly dis- 
proved, and the true descent from this Maurice Fitz Thomas 
of the Geraldines indicated with reasonable confidence. 


an effective occupation in pursuance of the grant, 
seem to have devolved upon a Carew and a de 
Courcy respectively, though the precise connexion 
of the new tenants in chief with the original 
grantees is matter of conjecture. 1 In 1207, how- 
ever, Philip de Prendergast and Richard de Cogan 
received extensive grants from the Crown, the 
former in the district between Cork and Inishan- 
non, where the important manor of ' Beuver ' 
(Beauvoir) or Carrigaline was afterwards formed, 
and the latter in Muskerry, where his descendants 
long held the manors of Dundrinan and Carrigro- 
hane More. 2 By these grants and some others of 
1207 the lands were to be held of the king in 
chief, and the seignories of the heirs of the original 
grantees were ignored — perhaps because no effec- 
tive settlement had been made in these districts. 
From the inquisition taken on the death of 
Gerald, son of Philip de Prendergast, in 1251, we 
can gauge the importance of the manor of Beuver. 
There were eleven tenants who held by knight's 
service, besides many free tenants at rents, and 
there were two market-towns, Carrigaline and 
Douglas, each with a large district of burgage 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 47-50. As regards Robert Fitz Stephen's 
moiety, further research has established other links in the 
chain, and the probable devolution in the line of Carews is 
given in an appendix to this chapter. 

2 Eot. Chart., 9 John, pp. 171 b and 173. Dundrinan is 
to be identified with Castlemore in the parish of Moviddy on 
the river Bride in East Muskerry : Cox's Description of Cork, 
c. 1685, in Journal R S. A. I., vol. xxxii (1902), p. 363. It 
must be distinguished from the ' Castle of Mora ', where John 
de Cogan, senior, had a grant of a fair in 1252 : Cal. Chart. 
Rolls, Hen. Ill, vol. i, p. 412. The latter was near Mourne 
Abbey (Mainisterna Mono), and lay on the direct line between 
Buttevant and Cork; cf. Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. iii, pp. 267, 
275. ' Mora ' is Latin for the Irish moin mdna, ' a moor '. 


lands. 1 In 1221 the Abbey de Albo Tractu was 
founded for Cistercians at a place about two miles 
south of Carrigaline. The monks came from Ty 
Gwyn or Alba Landa, now Whitland near Tenby, 2 
and the foundation may confidently be connected 
with the settlers from South Wales. Gerald de 
Prendergast also held of David de Barry a large 
manor at Ballacha in Orrery in the extreme north 
of the county. This place, after passing to the 
de Cogans, was long known as Rathcogan. In 
1662, however, the first Earl of Orrery changed 
what he called ' the heathenish name of Rath- 
goggan ' to Charleville, which he thought more 
euphonious and more appropriate to the times. 3 
The lands of Gerald de Prendergast passed through 
his daughters to John de Cogan, junior (son of 
John de Cogan, senior, and grandson of Richard 
de Cogan), and to Maurice de Rochford, the former 
obtaining the Cork manors, 4 and the latter those 
in counties Wexford and Limerick. 

Among the numerous landholders in County 
Cork who were not at first regarded as tenants in 
chief, the Barrys stand out prominently. The 
senior line, descended from Philip de Barry, 
nephew and feoffee of Robert 1 itz Stephen, 5 held 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 3202. 

2 Brut y Tyvvys, 1224, and annals in Chart. St. Mary's 
Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, p. 235. 

3 Smith's ' Cork ', vol. i, p. 303. Thus do places run the 
risk of losing their historical associations. The Irish name 
' Ballacha ' seems to survive in the neighbouring parish of 

4 Cf. Pipe Koll (Ireland), 10 Ed. I, 36th Kep. D. K., p. 62, 
'Beuver'. In 1439, the representative of the de Cogans 
granted all his possessions in Cork, including the original 
Prendergast property, to James FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond : 
Cal. Carew Papers, Misc. 362. 

5 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 41, 43-4. 


the manors of Castlelyons and Carrigtohill in the 
barony of Barrymore, and Buttevant in that of 
Orrery, while an offshoot, perhaps a little later, 
was seated at Rathbarry and Timoleague in the 
barony of Barryroe. Then there were the Roches 
in Fermoy, the Barretts and Cauntetons (Condons) 
in the baronies bearing their names, and the 
Fitz Geralds, the Carews, and others in Imokilly. 
In fact Eastern Cork became dotted over with 
small manorial towns, and in 1299 there were at 
least thirty -eight, the names of which are known, 
where markets were held. 1 There were, no doubt, 
many Irish betaghs distributed about the various 
manors and in some districts, as for instance in 
East Muskerry (which, however, belongs rather to 
West Cork) whole septs seem to have remained, 
subject to rent ; but so far as appears no Irish 
chief exercised sway in Eastern Cork. 
Move- The position was very different in West Minister. 

ments of Here the Normans had hardly anywhere pene- 
in Des- ^ trated, but great movements had recently taken 
mond. place amongst the Irish clans. We have already 
seen how the hereditary feud between the Dalcas- 
sians and the Eoghanachts manifested itself on 
the morrow of the battle of Clontarf, and how the 
conflict was for the moment averted owing to the 
quarrel which arose between the Eoghanacht 
leaders, Cian, son of Molloy, and Donnell, son of 
Duvdavorenn. 2 Now Cian's son Mahon was 
eponym of the O'Mahonys, and Donnell's son 
Donough was eponym of the O'Donoghues. Both 
families belonged to a powerful tribe-group whose 
original territory is now represented approximately 
by the baronies of Kinalmeaky and Kinalea near 

1 Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, p. 265. 

2 Ante, vol. i, pp. 32-4. 


Cork. 1 In the course of the eleventh century the 
O'Donoghues were driven out by the O'Mahonys 
and migrated to the region about Killarney, 
whence they drove the O'Carrolls and other earlier 
occupants westwards to Iveragh. Here, in the 
barony of Magunihy, the O'Donoghues eventually 
formed two branches, whose chieftains respectively 
were O'Donoghue Mor, with centre at Ross Castle 
on the lower lake of Killarney, and O'Donoghue 
of the Glens, about the upper reaches of the river 
Flesk. The O'Mahonys would now appear to have 
been supreme in Kinalea and Kinalmeaky until 
extruded by the Prendergasts and Cogans, but 
even before the coming of the Normans the clan 
is said to have extended westward up the Bandon 
River to West Carbery, where they wrested some 
lands from the O'Driscolls, O'Cowhigs, and others. 
As we shall see, the O'Mahonys were eventually 
subjected to a branch of the Mac Carthys, and 
confined by them to the district between Bantry 
Bay and that known by the unhappy name of 
Roaring Water. 2 

In 1178 and subsequently the O'Briens expelled 
the O 'Donovans from Croom and Bruree in the 
valley of the Maigue, and other Eoghanacht septs 
from different parts of County Limerick, and their 
expulsion paved the way for the Geraldine settle- 

' For these clans consult ' The O'Mahonys of Kinelmeky 
and I vagi) a ', by Canon O'Mahony, in the Cork Historical 
and Archaeological Journal (1907). 

" This district became known as Ivahagh, an anglicized 
form of Uibh Echach, the tribal name of the O'Mahonys ; 
also as Fonn Iurtharac/t, ' the western land '. According to 
Canon Mahony their tribedands were at one time coextensive 
with the Diocese of Cork, and extended from Mizen Head to 
Lough Mahon, but were cut in two by the O'Donovans and 
the Mac Carthys. 


ment there. 1 The O'Donovans fled southward 
across Mangerton and settled in the northern parts 
of Carbery, where Castledonovan preserves their 
name and marks their principal centre. The 
O'Driscolls and their kinsmen, thus pressed by 
the O'Donovans and the O'Mahonys on the north- 
west, and afterwards by the Normans on the east, 
were eventually confined to the district between 
Ivahagh and Castlehaven, only a comparatively 
small portion of their ancient tribe-land, which is 
said to have been at one time conterminous with 
the diocese of Ross. 2 

To the forward movement of the Anglo-Normans 
through southern Tipperary in 1192 3 may 
presumably be ascribed the expulsion of the 
O'Sullivans from the valley of the Suir about 
Clonmel and Caher. They subdued the earlier 
occupants 4 of two of the great peninsulas in 
Kerry and Cork, and became divided into two 
main branches. O'Sullivan Mor held sway over 
a large district between Dingle Bay and Kenmare 
River, and O'Sullivan Bere eventually occupied 
most of the peninsula between Kenmare River 
and Bantry Bay. Similarly the O'Keefes of 
Fermoy, who settled in Duhallow, were presum- 
ably driven out of their former seat by the 
Roches, who seem to have been settled in Fermoy 
before the close of the twelfth century. ' 

The above is necessarily an imperfect outline 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 160-1. 

- Consult ' Genealogy of the Corca Laidhe ' in Miscellany 
of the Celtic Society, App. E, and O'Donovans remarks, 
pp. 141-2. 

3 Ante, vol. ii, p. 145, &c. 

4 These were O'Sheas, O'Moriartys, O'Connells, and others : 
Topographical Poems, p. 109. 

5 Ante, vol. ii, p. 45. 


of the principal movements of the Irish clans into 
Desmond, and their positions there prior to the 
second decade of the thirteenth century. Con- 
temporary authorities are few, and inferences from 
subsequent events more or less doubtful. It 
seems clear, however, that at the opening of the 
century the population-groups of Desmond were 
still in a state of flux. Septs that from of old had 
possessed the land were disappearing or becoming- 
obscure. New and more vigorous ones had 
reduced them to subjection or driven them further 
afield. Over all, the Mac Carthys of the royal line 
of South Munster, which had been associated with 
Cashel, were recognized as overlords, and as such 
possessed demesne lands in different parts of 
Desmond and received dues of varying amount 
from the different clans. 1 Only in Kerry north 
of the river Maine, which properly speaking does 
not belong to Desmond, had some slight settle- 
ment been effected by Meiler Fitz Henry in 
pursuance of a grant made to him by King John 
in the year 1200. 2 The de Cogans had penetrated 

1 For a detailed account of ' The Lordship of Mac Carthy 
Mor ', as disclosed by the Survey of Desmond with accom- 
panying maps (1597) in vol. 625 of the Carew MSS., Lambeth 
Library, see the careful papers of Prof. W. F. Butler in 
Journal E. S. A. L, 1906-7. 

2 Rot. Chart., 2 John, p. 77 b, where the parcels are two 
cantreds in ' Kery ', namely ' Akunkerry ' (or better Akmi- 
kerry, i. e. aicme (Jiarraiglie, a name partly preserved in the 
thirteenth-century deanery of Hackmys and in the present 
barony of Trughanacmy), and ' Hyerba ' (Ui Ferba, also angli- 
cized Offerba and Offeriba about the coast of Tralee Bay), and 
a third cantred in Cork, namely ' Yoghenacht Lokhelen ' 
(Eoghanacht Locha Lein, a district in the barony of Magunihy 
about the lakes of Killarney). This third cantred is stated 
in the same record to belong to 'Humeriedac', i.e. O'Moriarty. 
So we must conclude that the O'Donoghues had not yet 
effected a complete conquest. 


The sons 
of Don- 
nell Mac- 

into East Muskerry, the de Prendergasts were 
forming manors in Kinalea, and the de Courcys 
seem to have been established about Kinsale ; 
but notwithstanding some earlier dealings by the 
Normans with land along the southern coast, it 
seems doubtful if they had made any effective 
settlements elsewhere in West Munster. 

Of affairs in Desmond during the first half of 
the thirteenth century little is to be learned from 
the printed Irish Annals, but the manuscript 
Annals of Inisfallen preserved in Dublin, though 
a late compilation in Irish and not to be implicitly 
trusted, embodies some early sources of Munster 
history not to be found elsewhere. 1 Checked and 
supplemented by occasional entries in the records 
and such other contemporary sources as are 
available, these annals enable a slight outline, 
trustworthy as far as it goes, to be drawn. 

After the death in 1206 of Donnell, son of 
Dermot Mac Carthy, there were from time to time 
rival claimants among the Mac Carthys for the 
position of head of the ruling family. The 
chieftain, though still sometimes called King of 
Desmond, may more properly be described by 
his Irish title of Mac Carthy Mor. Donnell left 
three sons who figure in succeeding years, namely, 
Dermot called ' of Dundrinan ', 2 Cormac Finn or 

1 Writing on December 23, 1845, O'Donovan says with 
reference to the compilers of these annals : ' They had, how- 
ever, some Munster annals which we have not, and from 
these they have extracted various passages relating to Des- 
mond not to be found in any other compilation that I know 
of.' There are several copies of these annals. The best 
Irish text is T.C.D. MS. H. 1. 7. They are of course to be 
distinguished from the ancient Annals of Inisfallen pre- 
served in the Bodleian Library (Rawlinson 503). 

2 So called apparently, as was the habit with this Munster 
annalist, from the place of his death. In these annals indeed 


'the Fair', ancestor of the line of Mac Carthy Mor, 
and Donnell Got or 'the Stammerer', ancestor 
of the line of Mac Carthy Reagh. There was also 
an uncle, Fineen, who at first succeeded to the 
chieftainship, but he was deposed immediately by 
Dermot of Dundrinan, and slain by the O'Sullivans 
in 1209. Dermot of Dundrinan now became king, 
but in 1212 he was taken prisoner by the English 
of Cork, and his brother, Cormac Finn, stepped 
for the moment into his shoes. Dermot, however, 
seems to have come to terms with the men of 
Cork. He married an English lady of that county, 
Petronilla or Peronelle Bloet, 1 and the Cork people 
henceforth appear to have supported him against 
his brother, Cormac Finn. 

An attempt was now made by the English to The Eng- 
gain control over the whole of Desmond. The Jj sh ent ^ r 
movement seems to have proceeded from the c . 1215. ' 
settlers in County Limerick aided by the Govern- 
ment, rather than from the settlers about Cork. 
First we are told, under date 1214, that 'Donough 

his name is always written Diarmaid cluna Drandin, but dun 
dtaighnin seems the proper form. It was anglicized Dundri- 
nan, Eccl. Tax., Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. v, p. 321. 

1 In March 1217 a mandate was issued to Geoffrey de 
Marisco, the justiciar, to cause Petronilla Bloet, wife of 
Dermot Mac Carthy, King of Cork, to have her maritagium 
which Thomas her brother gave to her ; Kot. Claus., 
1 Hen. Ill, p. 302. The doubt probably arose because 
Dermot in this year took the newly-built castle of Timo- 
league : Ann. Inisfallen, 1217. Many writers have absurdly 
identified Petronilla's husband with the old King Dermot 
slain in 1185 : see ante, vol. ii, p. 100. Thomas Bloet was 
an official of King John, and in 1211 he fined to have the 
lands of Milo de Cogan with his niece (or granddaughter) in 
marriage : Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 422, 1504. He was 
one of the magnates who joined in the declaration of loyalty 
in 1212 : ibid., no. 448. His heirs held a knight's fee under 
the Prendergasts : ibid., no. 3203. 


Cairbrech O'Brien and the sheriff, with the English 
of Munster and Leinster, marched to destroy 
Desmond on Dermot of Dundrinan'. 1 As usual 
the invaders supported one Irish claimant against 
the other, and Cormac Finn was in their host. 
' Dermot, joined by the English of Cork, came at 
the head of an army to Durrus, where he encamped 
for twenty days against Cormac Finn, who was 
at the other side of Mangerton all that time.' 2 
We do not hear of any collision between the 
two forces, but Dermot put to death the sons of 
Donnell Mor O'Sullivan, who, we may infer, 
supported his opponent. Then under date 1215 
is a remarkable entry, including a record of 
castle-building in Desmond, which certainly was 
not all accomplished in one year, but was probably 
spread over a longer period of time. This entry 
may be rendered as follows : ' A great war broke 
out between Dermot of Dundrinan and his own 
brother Cormac Finn, the English assisting on 
both sides. In the course of this war the foreigners 
overran all Desmond and gained much territory 
and power, and built castles and strongholds for 
themselves against the Gael.' 

Following this is the list of castles. 3 Giving 

1 Ann. Inisfallen, as above. Who was ' the sheriff ' ? If 
the date be correct he may have been Geoffrey de Marisco ; 
but if, as is more probable, 1215 was the true date, ' the 
sheriff ' was probably Thomas Fitz Anthony, the newly- 
appointed seneschal of Decies and Desmond. 

Ibid. Durrus is the name of a parish in West Carbery, 
Co. Cork. It is twenty-two miles south of Mangerton. In 
July 1215 ' Connac Lechaune ', a corruption, I suspect, of 
Cormac le Chanu (canutics), i. e. Cormac Finn, made a fine of 
100 marks to have land in Cork : Fine Eolls, 17 and 18 John, 
p. 556. This entry seems to point to 1215 as the true date, 
and at any rate throws light on the events recorded in the 
annals of Inisfallen. 

3 Compare O'Donovan's note (y) to Four Masters, 1215. 


the places mentioned their modern names, we Castles 
may group them as follows : (1) A string of JjjJJjJ* 
castles was built along the valley of the river lish. 
Maine in Kerry at Currans, Molahiffe, Clon- 
mellane, Castlemaine, and Calanafersy, and the 
line was completed to the sea by a castle at 
Killorglin near the mouth of the river Laune. 
This was the line which for centuries separated 
Kerry proper from Desmond, and the castles 
were evidently intended to protect the settlement 
in Kerry to which we have referred from attacks 
of the Irish of Desmond. These castles seem to 
have been erected by John and Maurice, sons of 
Thomas of Shanid, and grandsons of the first 
Maurice Fitz Gerald, whom we soon find as the 
principal landowners in Kerry. 1 

(2) A castle was also built by the same Geraldines 
at Dunlo to the west of the lower lake of Killarney, 
and another by a Roche somewhere in the level 
district to the east of the lakes. These were also 
in territory formerly granted to Meiler Fitz Henry, 
which presumably was now given as an escheat 
to John Fitz Thomas, who held it at his death.-' 

1 ' The castle of the Maine ' (Castlemaine) and that at 
Killorglin are expressly ascribed to Muiris mac Tomdis mic 
Gerailt, and the others more vaguely to mac Muiris mic 
Gerailt, which must mean grandson of Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
as no son of his was alive in 1215. 

- I identify the ' Yoghenacht Lokhelen ' (Eoghanacht Loeha 
Lcin) of the grant to Meiler (Rot. Chart., 2 John, p. 77 b) 
with ' Ogenathy Donechud ' (Eoghanacht ui Donnchada) of the 
inquisition touching the lands of John Fitz Thomas (Cal. 
Inquis. P. M., 11 Ed. I, no. 437). The district is now roughly 
represented by the barony of Magunihy, or part of it. Dunlo 
is written dun loich, as in Four Masters, 1570. Roche's castle 
is said to have been in 'Airloch', a name hitherto unidenti- 
fied. I think it represents the large district known as Air- 
luachair or Irlochir, ' O'Keefe's Country ' (Book of Rights, 
p. 75, note ; Onom. Goed.), or more particularly the plain of 


(3) Another group, consisting of the castles of 
Dunkerron Capanacush and Ardtully, was erected 
by a Carew about the head of the estuary of 
Kenmare, and he also erected another castle at 
Dunnamark near Bantry. The name of this 
Carew is not given, but he was presumably head 
of the branch of Carews that settled in Imokilly. 
As is shown in the appendix to this chapter, there 
was a Richard de Carew, possibly a younger son 
of Odo de Carew, eldest brother of Raymond le 
Gros, but more probably an illegitimate son of 
Raymond himself, who held lands in Imokilly 
about the close of the twelfth century. He 
married Raghenild, ' daughter of Mac Carthy,' and 
was father of Robert de Carew, who was one of 
the chief magnates of the county in 1221, and 
ancestor of the Carews who held the Fitz Stephen 
moiety of Cork in the last quarter of the thirteenth 
century. The Mac Carthy marriage would have 
facilitated the acquisition of lands in Desmond. 
This Richard de Carew, however, seems to have 
died in 1205, and his son Robert seems to 
have come of age shortly before 1216, so that 
probably the latter was the castle-builder about 
the heads of the estuaries of Kenmare and 

(4) Lastly, a number of castles were placed 
along the south coast of County Cork at important 
natural harbours or inlets, namely, one at Munter- 
vary, 1 the tongue of land between Bantry Bay 

Luachair belonging to O'Dunadhaigh (a name which, accord- 
ing to O'Donovan, was anglicized Denny) : Topog. Poems, 
p. 114 and notes, and see infra, p. 138, n. 3. The particular 
Roche was probably Gerald de Roche, to whom was given in 
marriage another of the daughters of Thomas Fitz Anthony. 
1 This castle is ascribed to Mac Cuidighthe, evidently a 
name given by the Irish to some Anglo-Norman, as in the 


and Dunmanus Bay, one at Baltimore, the ancient 
Dun na sead, and another on Ringarogy Island 
near by ; l two in the neighbourhood of Glandore, 2 
ascribed to a Barrett ; and two more at Timoleague 
and Dundeady (or Galley Head) by Nicholas Boy 
(buidhe) de Barry. Hitherto the most westerly 
castles on the south coast would seem to have 
been the de Courcy strongholds at Ringrone 
opposite Kinsale, and at Oldernass or the Old 
Head of Kinsale. 

From this account of the castle-builders in 
Kerry and Desmond, and of the places where 
the castles were erected, it appears that the 
settlers were mainly Geraldines ; that the district 
in Kerry proper, the escheated lands of Meiler 
Fitz Henry, were now guarded by the castles on 
the line of the river Maine ; and that the castles 
on the harbours of Desmond were seemingly 
placed with a view to the domination of that 
part of the kingdom of Cork originally granted 
to Robert Fitz Stephen and Miles de Cogan, but 
hitherto not brought under control. 

Considerable further light is thrown on this Light 
movement and on the persons who guided it by / e °ords 
the public records of the period. In the summer 
of 1215, immediately after the Great Charter was 
wrung from him, King John, as we have already 

cases of Mac Feorais, Mac Muiris, &c. Probably it represents 
Mac Odo, and refers to Stephen, son of Odo, l'Ercedekne (or 
Archdeacon). Like John Fitz Thomas and Gerald de Roche, 
he married one of the daughters of Thomas Fitz Anthony, 
and his descendants were often called ' Mc Odo ', or later, 
f Cody ', by the Irish. 

1 These are ascribed to Sleibhneach, meaning perhaps the 
heir of Robert Fitz Stephen : cf. infra, p. 134, note 3. 

William Barrett held at his death ' Clardor ' of Maurice 
de Carew : Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, p. 228. This was probabl) r 
the district about Glandore. 

2261-1 I 


Grant to 





noticed, 1 paid unwonted attention to the pacifica- 
tion of Ireland, and in particular made a number 
of grants to individuals, restoring to them the 
lands of which he had deprived them, and 
removing many possible causes of disaffection 
and disturbance. We have mentioned the most 
important of these grants and have attributed 
them to the influence of the great Earl Marshal, 
whose wisdom and fidelity the king in the time of 
stress and danger had at last learned to appreciate. 
We may perhaps further see the finger of William 
Marshal in the policy now pursued with regard 
to Desmond, where the peace was disturbed 
by the conflict between the rival Mac Carthys. 
Hitherto little or nothing had been done to bring 
Desmond, as distinguished from the rest of the 
ancient kingdom of Cork, under the effective 
control of the Crown. But now, on July 3, 1215, 
the king granted to Thomas Fitz Anthony and his 
heirs the custody of the counties of Waterford 
and Desmond and all the king's demesnes in 
those counties and all escheats therein for a rent 
of 250 marks ; and it was provided that Thomas 
should guard at his own cost the said counties, 
castles, and the king's lands in the march and 
elsewhere, and should be reimbursed the expense 
of fortifying castles in any of the king's escheats 
of which he had the custody. 2 Now Thomas 
Fitz Anthony held the manor of Grenan or 
Thomastown (as it came to be called) in Kilkenny 
of the Earl Marshal, and he was one of his most 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 313-19. 

2 Eot. Chart., 17 John, p. 210 b. In the king's entourage 
at this time were many Irish magnates, including William 
Max-shal, Henry de Londres, Geoffrey de Marisco, Richard de 
Burgh, Roger Pipard, Ralph Petit, Walter de Ridelisford 
(the younger), and others. 


trusted men. He was at this time seneschal of 
the earl's lands in Leinster. 1 The earl was one 
of the witnesses of the king's grant, and we may 
be sure that the selection of Thomas Fitz Anthony 
was due to the earl's counsel. 

At the same time the king, for a fine of 
600 marks, gave to Thomas Fitz Anthony the 
custody of the lands and heirs of Thomas Fitz 
Maurice, 2 and committed to Geoffrey de Marisco 
(who had just been appointed justiciar in place of 
Archbishop Henry) Maurice, younger son of 
Thomas Fitz Maurice, to be taken with him to 
Ireland. He had been a hostage for his father, 
but was now liberated. 3 

There can be little doubt that the forward 
movement resulting in the incastellation of the 
coasts of Desmond was directly connected with 
this comprehensive grant to Thomas Fitz Anthony, 
and that Geoffrey de Marisco was instructed to 
assist him in obtaining as full seisin as possible. 
To pacify the Mac Carthys and further the object, 
arrangements seem to have been made with 
Cormac Finn, who for a fine of 100 marks was 
to obtain a grant of lands in Cork from the king, 4 
while his brother Dermot was recognized as king 
of the Irish of Desmond. 

By the above grant Thomas Fitz Anthony and 
his heirs obtained only the custody of the counties 
of Waterford and Desmond (or Cork), and though 
great powers were given to him to reimburse 

1 Eot. de Finibus, 17 and 18 John, p. 551. 

2 Rot. Pat., 17 John, p. 147 (July 4). 

Ibid., p. 148 b (July 7), where he is called Mauritius 
films Thame filii Mauricii. There can really be no doubt 
about his identity. There is no other Thomas, son of 
Maurice, of the Gerald ines known to history at this time. 
4 Rot. de Finibus, 17 and 18 John, p. 556. 

I 2 



himself out of the king's escheats for the expense 
of fortifying castles, &c, yet it would seem to 
have been contemplated that, subject to such 
reimbursement, the escheats would inure for the 
The benefit of the Crown. But Thomas Fitz Anthony, 

original Q ie cus todian of Desmond, and Geoffrey de Marisco, 
of Cork the justiciar, seem to have made King Henry's 
recog- grant of the kingdom of Cork to Robert Fitz 
Stephen and Miles de Cogan the basis of the new 
tenures now created. The obvious reason for so 
doing was to avoid subjecting the lands to the 
liability of increased rents and services to the 
Crown which would result if the lands were 
treated as escheats of the Crown. Accordingly, 
Robert de Carew and Patrick de Courcy were 
regarded as entitled to the benefit of Henry's 
grant, while the interest of the Crown was con- 
fined to the sixty services originally reserved. 
How their titles were made out has long been 
a .moot point, and several untenable hypotheses 
have been from time to time put forward. For 
reasons given in the appendix to this chapter it 
seems probable that Patrick de Courcy married 
Margery de Cogan, granddaughter and heiress of 
Miles de Cogan (and seemingly widow of Thomas 
Bloet), and that Patrick in her right and his issue 
by her became entitled to the de Cogan moiety ; 
while Richard, father of Robert de Carew, was 
either nephew or more probably illegitimate son 
of Raymond le Gros (who we are told succeeded 
to the inheritance of Robert Fitz Stephen), and 
was regarded by the barons from the motives 
above-mentioned as entitled to the Fitz Stephen 
moiety. In any case there was a flaw in his title, 
for if, as seems to have been the fact, Robert Fitz 
Stephen was a bastard and died without leaving 
legitimate issue, his moiety cannot have passed 


by inheritance. In fact, as we shall see, more 
than a century later the Crown took advantage of 
this flaw in the Carew title to confiscate the castle 
and manor of Dunnamark and a moiety of the 
lordship of Desmond, then in the hands of the 
first earl. 

To this period, too, should be ascribed the New 
acquisition by the sons of Thomas Fitz Maurice seitle -. 

IT1PT1T" 1 Tl 

of their lands in Kerry. Meiler Fitz Henry, to Kerry. 
whom these lands had been granted by King John 
(in apparent derogation of his father's grant of the 
kingdom of Cork from Brandon Head to Lismore), 
was now an old man without legitimate children, 
and about this time he entered the monastery of 
Old Connell in Kildare, founded b} r himself, and 
his lands in Kerry, as elsewhere, became escheats. 1 
He had given the cantred of Offerba in Corcaguiny 
to John de Clahull, who was now confirmed 
therein by the Crown. 2 Here the family of 
de Clahull can be traced for some generations, and 
in their lands about Tralee Bay they enjoyed the 
right (often abused) of wreck of the sea. :i Judging 
from later documents the distribution of other 
cantreds in Kerry seems to have been as follows : 
the cantred of Ossurys, the western extremity of 
Corcaguiny, was given to Robert, son of Geoffrey 
de Marisco, 4 the cantred of Acmikery, now 

1 Rot. Claus., 18 John, p. 272 ; Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, 
no. 691 ; and cf. no. 3082. 

2 Rot. de Finibus, 18 John, p. 598, and see English His- 
torical Review, vol. xxix (1914), p. 307. 

3 In 1284 Geoffrey de Clahull was granted the sergeancy 
of Kerry and wreck of the sea in his land of Offerba: Cal. 
Docs. Ireland, nos. 2194, 2198. 

4 Rot. Claus., 33 Hen. Ill, m. 16; Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
vol. i, no. 2976, where Ossuris is absurdly equated with 
Ossory. It represents the Irish Acs Irrui.% 'people of the 
promontory ' : Onomasticon Goedelicum. 


Trughanacmy, to John Fitz Thomas, and the 
cantred of Altry, afterwards known as Clan- 
maurice, to Maurice Fitz Thomas, 1 while Geoffrey 
de Marisco himself retained the Castle of Killor- 
glin. 2 Even here, in spite of King John's grant 
to Meiler Fitz Henry ignoring the de Cogan 
seignory, there is evidence that some at any rate 
of Meiler's lands were not treated as escheats of 
the Crown, but that the former seignory was now 
revived. In the inquisition taken in 1282 as to 
the lands of which John Fitz Thomas was seised 
at his death in 1261, it was found that he held 
the cantred of Acmikery of Miles de Courcy (son 
and heir of Patrick de Courcy) by the service of 
two knights. 3 It was apparently for their dealings 
with these escheats in Kerry and Desmond to 
the prejudice of the Crown that Geoffrey de 
Marisco in 1221 was superseded as justiciar, and 
that Thomas Fitz Anthony in 1223 and later was 
reprimanded by the Regency, and eventually 
deprived of the custody of Decies and Desmond. 
It is at any rate clear that the sons of Thomas 
Fitz Maurice owed their first footing in Kerry to 
the influence and favour of Geoffrey de Marisco 
and Thomas Fitz Anthony. The former was 
married to their uncle's widow, Eva de Berming- 
ham, and the latter was their guardian, and he 
gave one of his daughters in marriage to John 

1 See Inquis. P. M. as to the lands of John Fitz Thomas: 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, p. 429, and Cal. Inquis. P. M., 
Ed. I, vol. ii, no. 437 ; also English Historical Review, 
'Origin of the Fitz Maurices, Barons of Kerry and Lixnaw,' 
vol. xxix (1914), p. 312, where my map, p. 305, shows the 
situation of these territories. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2228. 

3 The same inquisition states that John held half a carucate 
at Corleleye (Corca Laidhe) of [the heir of J Robert Fitz Stephen 
for the service of one knight : about Baltimore ? 


Fitz Thomas. Indeed, as already inferred, he 
seems to have made provision in Desmond for 
two of his other sons-in-law, namely, Gerald de 
Roche and Stephen l'Ercedekne (Archdeacon or 
Mc Odo). 

Thus by putting together these various, but 
quite independent, sources, namely, the entries in 
the Annals of Inisfallen, the records as to the 
grants to Thomas Fitz Anthony, the evidence as 
to the recognition of the seignory of Desmond in 
the persons of Robert de Carew and Patrick de 
Courcy, and as to the dealings with the escheat of 
Meiler Fitz Henry's lands and the subsequent 
tenure of the same by John Fitz Thomas and his 
brother Maurice, we can obtain a trustworthy 
outline of when and how the Geraldines and 
others obtained lands in Kerry and Desmond. 
There was apparently no prolonged fighting, and 
certainly no considerable displacement of Irish 
septs, but the sites of these castles outside of 
Kerry, and no doubt considerable portions of 
land in their vicinity, were, as usual elsewhere, 
the rewards which the foreigners secured for 
their services to the chieftains whom they had 

There were intermarriages, too, between the 
leading families of the two races, and these 
intermarriages are further indications that the 
settlement was effected with the consent and by 
the aid of some of the principal chieftains of 
Desmond. King Dermot, as has been mentioned, 
married a sister of Thomas Bloet, who was the 
first husband of Margery Cogan, and Richard de 
Carew married Raghenild, daughter probably of 
the same King Dermot by a former wife, and he 
is said to have given a daughter in marriage to 
Dermot O'Mahony, one of whose sons appears to 


Dermot have been named Richard. 1 Dermot Mac Carthy's 
Mac position as chieftain of the Irish and quasi-tenant 

of the Crown was recognized, and for about thirty 
years amicable relations with the Mac Carthys 
seem to have been generally maintained. In 
1221, when Archbishop Henry superseded Geoffrey 
de Marisco as justiciar, letters of credence were 
addressed to Dermot Mac Carthy and to other 
Irish chieftains in the king's peace, as well as to 
the principal feudal tenants, 2 and in 1224 Dermot 
accompanied the feudal host against Hugh de 
Lacy, then in rebellion. 3 In 1229 he founded 
a Franciscan Convent in Cork, and in the same 
or the next year he died. 4 

At about this time Thomas Fitz Anthony died, 
leaving heavy debts, and five daughters as co- 
heiresses. The king, indeed, had been dissatisfied 
both with him and with Geoffrey de Marisco for 
their dealings with escheats. In 1223 he ordered 
the custody of Decies and Desmond to be taken 
into the king's hand, as Thomas had not come to 
him with his charter when summoned and ' had 
detained some of the king's escheats ' ; and in 

1 See Cork Archaeological Society Journal, 2nd ser., 
vol. xiv, p. 79 

2 Rot. Claus., 5 Hen. Ill, p. 476 b. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1224, where he is called Dermot ' Clua- 
sach ' Mac Carthy, from some peculiarity of his ears. 

4 Ibid., 1230, and Four Masters, 1229. In the Annals of 
Inisfallen he is said to have been killed by lightning at 
Dundrinan. Hence the distinguishing name given to him 
in that compilation. 

5 Before July 20, 1229 : Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 1714. 
His daughters were all married, and their husbands were 
Gerald de Roche, William de Cantilupe, Geoffrey de Nor- 
ragh, John Fitz Thomas, and Stephen Archdeacon : Ir. Pipe 
Roll, 16 Hen. Ill, transcribed in Report of Record Commis- 
sioners, vol. i, pp. 333-5. 


1226-7 he committed the said custody to Richard 
de Burgh. 1 

Dermot of Dundrinan was succeeded by his Cormac 
brother Cormac Finn, ancestor of the line of ^ mn 
Mac Carthy Mor. In 1230 he took part in earthy 
Richard de Burgh's campaign in Connaught when 
Felim, son of Cathal Crovderg O 'Conor, was made 
king.- Taking advantage of the disturbances 
caused by the quarrel with Earl Richard Marshal 
in 1234, the Irish attacked Tralee, where they 
were defeated, seemingly by John Fitz Thomas, 
and Dermot, son of Cormac Finn, and others were 
slain. 3 About this time Cormac Finn imprisoned 
his brother Donnell Got, but soon afterwards 
liberated him, whereupon the latter ' committed 
an unneighbourly act ' on O'Mahony by killing 
his sons and dispossessing him of his territory in 
Carbery. 4 This was the origin of the separate 
territory of Mac Carthy Reagh, or ' the Swarthy ', 
a line descended from Donnell Got and in general 
independent of Mac Carthy Mor. In 1244 Cormac 
Finn was summoned by the king to join the 
intended expedition against the Scots,"' and 
shortly before 1 248 he died in the habit of a grey 
monk at his own ' longport ' at Mashanaglass G near 

After the death of Cormac Finn there were 

1 Cal. Docs. Ire]., vol. i, nos. 1001, 1108, 1462, 1502. 

2 Ann. Inisfallen, as above. 

3 Ibid. The presence of John Fitz Thomas may be inferred 
from Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 89. 

4 Bodleian Annals of Inisfallen, as quoted by O'Donovan, 
Celtic Miscellany, p. 142. 

6 Close Rolls, 28 Hen. Ill, p. 255 ; Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, 
no. 2716, where he is called Cormac lethan (Liathdnach) 
Mac Carthy, as in the Bodleian Annals of Inisfallen ; see 
Celtic Soc. Miscellany, p. 13, note. 

n Ann. Inisfallen, R. I. A. 


Donneil renewed disputes between Donnell Got and his 
c°rfcJ IaC nephews about the chieftainship, and English 
settlers took part on different sides. Fineen, son 
of Dermot of Dundrinan, slew Geoffrey de Cogan, 
brother of John de Cogan, and some other settlers, 
and did great damage to the English until he was 
himself slain by his uncle Donnell Got and the 
Cogans in 1250. 1 Donnell Got, though under the 
protection of the King of England, 2 was slain next 
year by John Fitz Thomas,' who appears to have 
supported his rival Donnell Roe, son of Cormac 
Finn. This deed had serious consequences. 
Fmeen Another Fineen, son of Donnell Got, described as 
rebels. USU al from the place of his death as ' Fineen of 
Ringrone ', now broke out in violence and rebel- 
lion. He burned to death O'Donoghue, his wife, 
brother, and three sons, in their house near 
Killarney. Then, assisted by 'Donovan, he slew 
Dermot O'Mahony near Enniskeen, thus consoli- 
dating and extending his possessions in Carbery. 
In 1259 he raided Kerry and there made ' great 
slaughters, burnings, and plunderings of the 
English'. Next year he burned the English 
castles at Dunnamark, Ringarogy Island, Dun- 

1 Ann. Inisfallen, and Four Masters, 1250 ; and see Cal. 
Docs. Irel., vol. i. no. 3145. and vol. ii, no. 129. 

2 Ibid., vol. i, no. 3160 (June 22, 1251). 

3 Ann. Inisfallen, according to which Donnell Got is said 
to have been treacherously killed in Roche's house at Bally 
O'Denny, a m-baile hui Dionuighe a tig an Eoistigh. O'Dionuighe 
seems to be another form of O'Dunadhaigh (Denny), chieftain 
of the plain of Luachair, the level part of the barony of 
Magunihy ; see Topographical Poems, p. 114, and notes. If 
so, this confirms the identification given above, p. 127, n. 2, of 
Airloch, where a castle was built in 1215 by Gerald de Roche. 
It would seem that while John de Cogan favoured the claims 
of Donnell Got, John Fitz Thomas supported his rival Donnell 
Roe, son of Cormac Finn, ancestor of the line of Mac Carthy 


deady, Rathbarry, and others. 1 Clearly he had 
his own ambitions to serve as well as his father's 
death to avenge. 

Up to the recent disturbances the attempt to 
control Desmond by building castles in favourable 
positions on the coasts and harbours had seemingly 
met with considerable success. The castles built 
in 1215 had become centres of English influence, 
and others had been built since. An unwonted 
peace had prevailed. In 1244 John Fitz Thomas 
had obtained a grant of free chase and warren in 
Kerry, Muskerry, Magunihy, and Iveragh, as well 
as in his lands about Shanid ; - and in 1252 John 
de Cogan had got a grant of a market and fair at 
his castle of Mora in Desmond. 3 But the dispute 
about the succession to Cormac Finn, and especially 
the outbreak of Fineen, son of Donnell Got, 
threatened to ruin the whole settlement. 

In 1261, however, a great effort was made to The 
crush Fineen. William de Dene, late sheriff of £ a *f le of 
Cork and now justiciar, led the feudal host into 126I. 
Desmond. It consisted mainly of the Munster 
barons who undertook to finance the expedition, 4 
and conspicuous amongst them was ' Clann Gerailt ' 
or the Geraldines. John Fitz Thomas was clearly 

1 Ann. Inisfallen, as above, where the place-names are 
' Dtm-na-mbarc, Dun na n-Gall, Dan cleide, Bath an bhdraigh, 
Inis Eoghnain (Inishannon?), and Caislean uabhair(" the fort 
of pride ", perhaps Dunour in the parish of Kilcrohane ?) '. 
In the Pipe Roll accounts for 1259-61, among the names of 
those owing fines is ' Fynyn, son of Dennot (?) Got Mac 
Karthy ' : 35 Rep. D. K., p. 37. 

2 Cal. Docs, lrel., vol. i, no. 2680, where these places 
appear as ' Okonyl, Muskry, Kery, Yonach, and Orathat ', 
i. e. ui Conaill, Muscraighe, Ciarraighe, Eoghunacht, and ui 
Iidthach. It is not clear what Muscraighe is intended, prob- 
ably Muscraighe tri maighe in the barony of Orrery. 

s Ibid., vol. ii, no. 121. 

* See Cal. Close Rolls, 3 Ed. I, p. 240. 


the prime mover in the expedition. In Novem- 
ber 1259 he had obtained a grant in fee from 
Prince Edward of the lands of Decies and 
Desmond, the custody of which had formerly 
been held by his father-in-law, Thomas Fitz 
Anthony ; r and just as the forward movement of 
1215 to gain control over Desmond followed close 
on the grant to Thomas Fitz Anthony, so the 
renewal of the grant to John Fitz Thomas was 
followed by an attempt to quell the growing- 
turbulence of the Irish, who were not unnaturally 
chafing at their restricted bounds. Among the 
ranks of the English was Donnell Roe, son of 
Cormac Finn MacCarthy, of the rival house of 
MacCarthy Mor, with all the Irish he could 
muster — not very many perhaps, as ' the chiefs 
of the tribe of Eoghan ' were with his cousin of 
Carbery. The opposing forces met on July 24, 
1261, at a place called Callann of Glen Ruachtain 
(Glanarought) in the tuath of Kenmare. The site 
of the battle is still pointed out, where a mountain 
torrent called the Slaheny river rushes down 
through a narrow glen to join the Roughty, a 
little above Ardtully, where a castle was built 
about the year 1215 by a Carew. 2 We have no 
details of the battle, but it is probable that Fineen 
waited to be attacked in a position which he had 
chosen, where the enemy's cavalry could not 

1 Cal. Pat. Rolls (Ireland). 44 Hen. Ill, ' Antiquissime ', 
no. 32, and cf. no. 17 ; also Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 629, 
and vol. iii, no. 1051. It appears that the justiciar, Stephen 
de Longespee, refused to give John seisin on the ground that 
he had deceived the Lord Edward, whereupon John took 
seisin on his own account : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, 
pp. 279, 426. 

2 There is an earthwork of the promontory-fort type near 
the reputed site of the battle which may perhaps mark the 
position of Carew's castle. 


operate. In the result ' a great battle and un- 
speakable slaughter ensued between them, and 
the English were entirely defeated, and John, son 
of Thomas Fitz Gerald, seneschal of Munster, and 
Maurice his son, were slain, together with eight 
barons and twenty-five knights and many of the 
English besides V 

Fineen made the most of his victory. The 
Annals of Inisfallen give a list of a dozen castles, 
including Macroom, Dunnamark, Killorglin, and 
Dunlo, and several on the southern coast, which he 
levelled and broke, killing most of the foreigners 
that were in them. This was the time when, in 
the expressive language of Dr. Meredith Hanmer, 
' the Carties plaied the Divells in Desmond, where 
they burned, spoiled, preyed, and slue many an 
innocent ; they became so strong and prevailed so 
mightily that for the space (so it is reported) of 
twelve yeeres the Desmonds durst not put plow in 
ground in his owne Country '. 

Fineen, however, did not live long to enjoy the 
fruits of his victory. Emboldened by his success 
he now attacked Ringrone (Minn Roin), the castle 
of the de Courcys, at the western side of Kinsale 
Harbour. The lord of Kinsale at this time was 
Miles, son of Patrick de Courcy. Miles de Cogan 
is said to have come to his assistance, and ' a great 
defeat and overthrow was given to Fineen's people, Fineen 
in which Fineen himself and a great number of kllled - 
the chiefs of Desmond were slain \~ 

1 Ann. Inisfallen, as above. The entry in Annals of Loch 
Ce, 1261, is to the same effect. Among those slain was the 
' Barrach Mor', i. e. David de Barry, grandson of Philip de 
Barry, and lord of Castlelyons, Carrigtohill, and Buttevant. 
For the precise date of the death of John Fitz Thomas, 
July 24, 1261, see Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, p. 426. His 
account for Cork County covered a period up to July 22 : 
Ir. Pipe Roll, 45 Hen. III. 35th Rep. D. K., p. 37. 

2 Ann. Inisfallen. A Miles de Cogan witnesses grants by 


William de Dene, the justiciar, died soon after 
the battle of Callann, whether from wounds received 
in the fight or from natural causes does not 
appear. He was succeeded about October 1261 
by Richard de la Rochelle, who had been Lord 
Edward's seneschal and lieutenant in Ireland 
under John Fitz Geoffrey. In 1262, joined by 
Walter de Burgh with a feudal army and ' a great 
number of the Irish ', he advanced into Desmond 
to give battle to Cormac, Fineen's brother, and 
avenge the slaughter of Callann. The opposing 
forces met on the slopes of Mangerton, at a place 
henceforth known as Tuairin Cormaic. Here 
Gerald Roche, ' the third best baron in Erin ', was 
slain, but this, we are told, was ' joy with sorrow 
to Desmond', for Cormac, son of Donnell Got, 
was slain on the same day, and great losses were 
suffered on both sides. 1 

In spite of such two-edged victories the battle of 
Callann, for good or for evil, effectually prevented 
the establishment of Anglo-Norman rule in Des- 
mond. It is true that owing to dissensions among 
the Irish tribes the earls of Desmond eventually 
' overtopped them all ', but in the region from which 
they drew their title they had more of the charac- 
ter of a Celtic chief than of a feudal lord, and it 

Gerald de Prendergast, c. 1230-50 : Reg. St. Thomas's Abbey, 
pp. 186, 189. He was probably brother of Geoffrey de Cogan, 
slain by another Fineen as already mentioned. 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1262, and Ann. Inisfallen. Presumably 
the Gerald Roche who married one of the daughters of 
Thomas Fitz Anthony. Unfortunately we are not told who 
the first and second ' best barons ' were. Perhaps John 
Fitz Thomas and the Barrach Mor. Irish writers had a great 
fancy for ' ti'iads \ For a similar example see Ann. Loch Ce, 
vol. i, p. 391. Walter de Burgh was allowed 250 marks in 
his Connaught account for his expenses in this campaign : 
35th Rep. D. K., p. 47. 


was left for more resolute Tudor statesmen and 
more ruthless Tudor generals to break down the 
clan-system there. The settlement in Kerry, 
however, was not permanently affected. Maurice, 
son of John Fitz Thomas, left by his wife, Matilda 
de Barry, 1 a baby son named Thomas. Late 
writers have called him Tomds an Apa, or ' Thomas Thomas 
of the Ape ', a soubriquet which they say he an A ?a. 
obtained from an incident which occurred when 
news of the fatal battle of Callann reached the 
castle of Tralee. A panic seized the garrison, 
which was only allayed by the strange sight of a 
pet ape on one of the turrets of the castle carefully 
carrying the infant heir in its arms. This was 
hailed as a good omen- — a sign from heaven 
that they should rally round their new lord. As 
a somewhat similar, but even more picturesque, 
ape-story is told of the infant John Fitz Thomas, 
afterwards first Earl of Kildare — a story which 
accounts for the ape-supporters on the family crest 
— it may be doubted to which branch of the 
family the legend really belongs. 

Thomas Fitz Maurice came of age early in 1282, 
and from the inquisition then taken 2 we learn 
many details about his grandfather's lands. His 
most lucrative property was in County Waterford, 
but he also held valuable manors at Shanid, 
Killeedy, and Glenogra, in County Limerick. His 
property in Desmond at the time of the inquisi- 
tion was of little value, but, as we have mentioned, 
he held in Kerry the cantred of Acmikerry 

1 Inq. P. M., 28 Ed. I, p. 254. Her dower-lands were at 
Tralee and the New Manor in Kerry. One of the ignorant 
additions to the Annals of Inisfallen (Dublin) states that this 
Maurice s widow was a daughter of Geoffrey Mareis. 

2 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 1912 ; Cal. Inquis. P. M., 
Ed. I, vol. ii, no. 437. 


(Trughanacmy), worth in his time £100, where a 
little later 1 were the valuable manors of Killorglin, 
Castle-Island, and the New Manor near Tralee. 
John Fitz Thomas is said to have founded the 
Dominican convent at Tralee in 1243, 2 and here, 
after the disaster of Callann, he and his son 
Maurice are said to have been buried. 

After a time relations with the Mac Carthys ap- 
Donneli P ear *° nave improved. About the year 1284 Don- 
Roe Mac nell Roe MacCarthy, ' lord of the Irish of Desmond,' 
Carthy. wno na( j fought on the side of John Fitz Thomas 
at Callann, wrote to Edward I, ' vehemently de- 
siring to be subjected to the king's domination 
and wishing beyond measure to acquire the king's 
friendship by his service ' ; 3 and in 1285 he 
obtained a safe-conduct to go to the king in 
England. 4 He seems, however, to have failed to 
carry out to the letter his vehement desire and 
measureless wish. In 1288 he and other Irishmen 
of Desmond were in a hostile state, when the 
Keeper of Ireland, Archbishop John de Sanford, 
held a parley with them and admitted them to 
the king's peace. 5 About this time his son 
Donnell Og Mac Carthy was outlawed for several 
robberies on the prosecution of William de Barry 
and Gilbert le Waleis, and was subsequently 
pardoned. \yhereupon the prosecutors com- 
plained to the king that they had been prejudiced 
by the pardon and prayed a remedy ; ' for if such 
things may be,' they said, ' law cannot avail 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. iv, nos. 551, 727 ; Cal. Inquis. P. M., 
Ed. I, vol. iii, no. 596. 

2 Ware, Dowling's Annals, 1261. 

3 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 2362. 

4 Ibid., vol. iii, no. 61. 

5 Ibid., p. 266. Donnell Roe had to pay a fine : ibid., 
p. 277. 


us ' 1 — a complaint which has often found an echo 

In 1292 the king granted to Thomas Fitz Grant to 
Maurice and Margaret his wife (described as the ^ homas f- 
king's cousin) and their heirs the custody of the 
castle of Dungarvan and the homages, rents, and 
services of all tenants, as well English as Irish, 
belonging to the lands of Decies and Desmond.- 

Perhaps this was the king's answer to the com- 
plaint of William de Barry and Gilbert Walsh. 
It was a repetition with some modifications of the 
previous grants to Thomas Fitz Anthony and John 
Fitz Thomas, but its effect in establishing English 
law in Desmond was not conspicuous. In 1297 
the sheriff of Cork returned that Donnell Og, who 
was appealed for the death of John de Courcy, 
tenant in chief, ' would not submit to justice and 
had nothing in the land of peace whereby he 
might be distrained,' whereupon the sheriff was 
ordered to attach him. 3 A few months later the 
sheriff returned that Donnell ' was not found, but 
was among the Irish in waste land where no 
serjeant or bailiff of the king dared go to attach 
him '. 4 In fact, neither Thomas Fitz Maurice nor 
his titled successors made English law of much 
avail in Desmond. 

Of Maurice, younger brother of John Fitz 
Thomas, and ancestor of the long line of the Fitz 

1 Ibid., no. 817. Gilbert le Waleis was one of the 
pledges for Donnell Og : 87th Rep. D. K., p. 54 (account 

; Ibid., no. 1051. Margaret, 'the king's cousin', was 
daughter of Sir Thomas de Berkeley by Joan, daughter of 
William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby. She was descended from 
King John's illegitimate son Richard : see ' Complete Peer- 
age '. 

3 Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, p. 101. * Ibid., p. 143. 

22611 K 


The Fitz Maurices, lords of Kerry, we know little beyond 
Maunces w h a t h as been mentioned. He appears to have 
held the manor of Altry in the barony afterwards 
known as Clan-Maurice. The manorial centre 
was at Lixnaw. His son, Thomas Fitz Maurice, 
founded the Franciscan Friary of Ardfert in 
1253. 1 Judging from architectural evidence the 
cathedral of Ardfert must have been rebuilt about 
the same time, when the builders had the good 
taste to preserve the earlier Romanesque door- 
way. 2 Thomas was succeeded, c. 1280, by his son 
Maurice, 3 who appears to have been tenant in 
chief of the Crown, but long afterwards the earls 
of Desmond of the senior line claimed to be lords 
of the Fitz Maurices — a claim which led to many 
bitter disputes. Throughout the thirteenth cen- 
tury — from 1232 at any rate 4 — Kerry was a 
separate shrieval county and was regularly visited 
by justices in eyre. At the close of the century 
its export trade from the port of Dingle was 

1 Four Masters, 1253. 

2 See a paper by Arthur Hill, B.E., Journal R. S.A.I. , 
1883-4, p. 294, and compare illustrations, ibid., p. 312. 

3 This Maurice, 'called second baron of Kerry, died at 
Moyflayth (Molahiff) in April 1305. He was then owner of 
Lixnaw: Justiciary Rolls, vol. ii, p. 422. For these early 
Fitz Maurices see my paper (above referred to), English His- 
torical Review, vol. xxix (1914), pp. 302-15. I may here 
correct another error in the Fitz Maurice pedigree as given 
by Lodge (Archdall, vol. ii, p. 186). It appears from Plea 
Roll, no. 68 m., 29 P. R. 0., Dublin, that the first wife of this 
Maurice, and mother of his son and heir Nicholas, was Elena, 
daughter and heir of William Fitz Elie, and that his second 
wife's name was Sibilla. So that the statement in the MS. 
pedigree referred to by Lodge, viz. that the mother of 
Nicholas, third lord of Kerry, was a daughter and heir 
' to Sir John M'Cleod of Gal way, chief of his name (whose 
kindred are since commonly called M'Eligott)', must be 

4 See Pipe Roll, 19 Hen. Ill 35th Rep. D. K, p. 37. 


appreciable, and seems to have exceeded even that 
of Limerick. 1 From the manors of the Bishop of 
Ardfert, when in the escheator's hands for thir- 
teen months in 1288-9, the sum of £80 6s. 4x2. 
was received, 2 and the diocese was valued in the 
ecclesiastical taxation of 1306 at £178 16s. 6d. 
The lords of Kerrv are said to have often inter- 
married with the families of the O'Conors of 
Kerry, the O'Briens of Thomond, and the Mac 
Carthys of Desmond, but throughout the dark 
period of Irish history the English settlement in 
Kerry, though but slightly controlled by the 
central government, never lost its identity. 



When treating of the occupation of Cork in the twelfth 
century, we briefly considered the difficult question of the 
devolution of the moieties of the ' kingdom of Cork ' 
granted by Henry II to Robert Fitz Stephen and Miles 
de Cogan respectively {ante, vol. ii, pp. 46-50). Further 
research has enabled me to add some links in the chain 
of descent of the Carews who are found in possession of 
the Fitz Stephen moiety in the latter part of the thir- 
teenth century, and also to put forward more con- 
fidently the suggestion that Patrick de Courcy married a 
de Cogan heiress and thus acquired the de Cogan moiety. 

The Carews, tenants in chief in Cork, were of a dif- 
ferent line from the Carews of Idrone in County Carlow, 
though both had no doubt a common ancestor in William 
de Carew, eldest son of Gerald and Nesta, who died in 
1173. The Carews of Idrone were identical with the 

1 See accounts of the ' New Custom ', 37th Rep. D. K., 
p. 24, &c. 2 Ibid., p. 34. 

K 2 


senior line, the lords of Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire, 
while the Carews of Cork, as will be shown, were de- 
scended from a Richard de Carew who held lands in 
Cork about the close of the twelfth century, but whose 
parentage is obscure. In both cases the land was held 
at an earlier period by Raymond le Gros, a younger son 
of the first William de Carew. He was enfeoffed in the 
Carlow lands by Strongbow, and we are told (Giraldus 
Cambrensis, v. 350) that he succeeded to the inheritance 
of his uncle Robert Fitz Stephen in Cork. As we have 
said (ante, vol. i, p. 387), Raymond appears to have en- 
feoffed his nephew William, eldest son of Odo de Carew 
(son of William, son of Gerald of Windsor), in Idrone. 
On Raymond's death without legitimate issue his Carlow 
lands reverted to Strongbow's heiress, Isabel de Clare, 
and henceforth Raymond's feoffees, including William de 
Carew and his successors, held immediately of the lords 
of Leinster, but as regards the Cork lands there was no 
superior lord except the Crown. 

The clue to the descent of Maurice de Carew, who during 
the last quarter of the thirteenth century was recognized 
as holding the seignory of Fitz Stephen's moiety of Cork, 
is to be found in a suit recorded in the Justiciary Rolls 
(vol. ii, pp. 372-3). From this it appears that Maurice 
recovered by writ of right some tenements in Imokilly 
' of the seisin of his abavus Richard de Carew ' ; that this 
Richard married Raghenild, daughter of Mc Carthy ; and 
that his eldest son was named Robert. Richard de Carew 
who married Raghenild may with probability be identi- 
fied with the Richard de Carew whose widow Regina (a 
latinized form of Raghenild) had dower out of her late 
husband's tenement in Leinster in 1205 (Rot. de Finibus, 
7 John, p. 321) ; and also with the Richard de Carew 
who granted a burgage in the suburbs of Cork to the 
Abbey of St. Thomas before 1206, and is the first witness 
to the confirmations by M., Bishop of Cork, of several 
early grants of benefices in Cork to the same Abbey 
(Reg. St. Thomas's Abbey, Dublin, pp. 213, 220-1 ). This 
M., Bishop of Cork, was not (as supposed by the editor) 
Marianus O'Brien who was translated to Cashel, in 1224, 
but probably Murrough O'Hea who died in 1206 : Ann. 
Loch Ce\ Four of the principal witnesses were contem- 
poraries of Miles de Cogan, who died in 1182. Richard's 


son and heir was Robert, who fined £100 for his relief in 
1216 (Rot. de Finibus, 18 John, p. 598) and was therefore 
a tenant in chief, and with Patrick de Courcy was one 
of the chief magnates of Cork in 1221-35 (Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, nos. 1001, 2285). Robert was then presumably 
born c. 1195, and Maurice de Carew, the recognized tenant 
in chief, who was a minor in the king's custody in 1273 
and given seisin of Castlecor in 1276 (36th Rep. D. K., 
p. 31, and 38th Rep. D. K., p. 30), was born c. 1255. In 
view of these dates it seems probable that abavus in the 
Justiciary Roll means great-grandfather, and not, as in 
classical usage, great-great-grandfather. There is there- 
fore only one link in the pedigree to be supplied, and 
this appears to be the Richard de Carew who, presumably 
as superior lord, confirmed to the Abbey of St. Thomas 
a number of churches in Co. Cork, including that of 
Castlecor (now Middleton), the principal manor of the 
Carews : Reg. St. Thomas, p. 200. This deed must be 
dated between 1240, about which time the first John de 
Cogan and Maurice Fitz Maurice came of age, and 1261, 
when the first David de Barry was killed at the battle 
of Callann, these persons being among the witnesses. 

We also meet this Cork line of Carews in Connaught, 
and the references to them there confirm the above pedi- 
gree. It is probable that Robert de Carew, and perhaps 
his son Richard, joined in the conquest of Connaught 
under Richard de Burgh in 1235, as both names appear as 
witnesses to the deed by which Gerald de Roche granted 
to Maurice Fitz Gerald part of Conmaicne Culi in Con- 
naught, not very long after the conquest (Red Book of 
the Earl of Kildare, f. vid). In 1234 Robert de Carew 
sided with Richard de Burgh against Earl Richard 
Marshal (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 2266, 2285), and 
he seems to have been enfeoffed by Richard de Burgh in 
lands in Southern Tirawley, as we find his son Richard, 
before November 1255, giving warranty to William 
Barrett of his lands in Bredagh in that district (Cal. 
Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 474). And again in 1300 
' Maurice, son of Richard de Carew ', summoned another 
William Barrett to do suit and service in Bac and Glen 
and Bredagh. The claim was admitted by Barrett, but 
was disputed by the Earl of Ulster (Plea Roll, 28 Ed. I, 
47, m. 13 d, and see infra, vol. iii, c. xxix). This William 


Barrett also held the land of Clardor (i. e. probably 
Glandore in Co. Cork, supra, p. 129) of Maurice de Carew 
(Justiciary Roll, vol. i, p. 228), further indicating the 
identity of these two lines. 

The remainder of the pedigree is well authenticated, 
and the whole may be tabulated side by side with the 
Carews of Idrone as below, at the end of this note. 

It remains to inquire who was this Richard de Carew 
who died c. 1205, and was ancestor of the Carews who in 
the thirteenth century and later held the dominium of 
a moiety of Cork. The field of inquiry is not large. He 
must have been either son or grandson of the first William 
de Carew who died in 1173, and (as his son and heir 
Robert was born about 1195) presumably grandson. 
William de Carew's attested sons were Odo, his heir, 
Raymond le Gros, once at any rate called Raymond ' de 
Karreu ' (Cal. Christ Church Deeds, no. 3), and Griffin. 
Of these Raymond had no legitimate children ; Griffin 
had four sons : Gilbert, Matthew, Raymond, and Griffin. 
They generally appear with the patronymic ' Fitz Griffin ', 
and the first three at any rate seem to have left no male 
issue (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iii, p. 294, and consult 
Journ. R.S.A.I., vol. xxiii (1893), p. 186). Odo's son 
and heir was William, who succeeded to Idrone, and Odo 
had other sons : Stephen Jilius Odonis de Careiv (Reg. 
St. Thomas, p. 205), Tancard, named from his mother's 
father, and perhaps Adam and Baldwin, mentioned in 
charters in the Register of St. Thomas's Abbey. As far 
as dates go Richard de Carew may have been another 
younger son of Odo, but there is no proof or indication 
that this was so. and even if Odo had a younger son 
named Richard he could not normally have succeeded to 
Raymond's 'inheritance'. But though Raymond left no 
legitimate issue, it appears from some charters in the 
< -hartulary of St. Mary's Abbey (though the fact has not 
hitherto been noticed) that he left two sons, whom we 
must suppose to have been illegitimate, named Walter 
and Richard. These charters concern Tilechstelan, a 
parish near Glencullen, County Dublin, and by them 
William de Carew (Raymond's nephew) and ' Walterus 
filius Reimundi ' confirm (with possibly additions) a 
former grant to St. Mary's Abbey made before 1185 by 
Raymond le Gros (Chartulary, vol. i, pp. 106-11, and 


and cf . p. 86). Among these are three grants by WaUerus 
Jilius Reimundi : the first (no. 89) is witnessed by Gerald 
Fitz Maurice, who was dead by January 1204 (Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. i, no. 195), and by Meiler Fitz Henry, who is 
not called justiciar, therefore before 1199, and another 
witness is ' Richard de Carew '. By the second (no. 90) 
Walter grants and confirms the church of Tilechstelan 
with the land which his father Raymond had granted to 
it, and this is witnessed (inter alios) by ' Richard his 
brother '. The third (no. 91) commences : Sdant, &c, 
quod ego Walterus Jilius Reimundi commendavi cartas 
meas quas habeo de Comite [Strongbow] et de patre meo 
Reimundo in manu monachorum monaster ii sancte 
Marie iuxta Dublin., &c. It seems a necessary inference 
that this Reimundus was Reimundus filius Willelmi, 
commonly called le Gros, and that therefore Walter and 
Richard were his (illegitimate) sons. Ricardus filius 
Reimundi also witnesses a grant by Basilia, Raymond's 
widow, in 1199-1200 (Reg. St. Thomas, p. 111). " 

It is, moreover, a fair conjecture that this Richard, 
natural son of Raymond, was the Richard de Carew whose 
parentage we are seeking. On his father's death shortly 
after 1188 there was no one but the Crown who could 
legally take advantage of the escheat of Raymond's 
claim to the Cork seignory. At this time it was probably 
not of much value, and it was no one's interest to dispute 
the succession of Raymond's natural son. About then, 
or soon afterwards, he married Raghenilda, daughter of 
Mc Carthy, and with her he, no doubt, obtained a foot- 
hold among the Irish of Desmond. It was not, however, 
until after the bridling of Desmond with castles in 1215 
and the following years that his son Robert de Carew 
and Patrick de Courcy were recognized as successors to 
the original grantees, and this was probably effected by 
Thomas Fitz Anthony and the other barons interested, 
with the design that the original service to the Crown of 
sixty knights' fees for the whole of Cork should not be 
increased to their disadvantage. It is to be noted, how- 
ever, that Philip de Prendergast and his heirs always 
appear as tenants in chief of the Crown under the grant of 
1207, and owed the services of one and a half knights' fees. 

As regards the de Cogan moiety, Margarita, only 
daughter and heiress of Miles de Cogan, and widow of 


Ralph Fitz Stephen who was slain in 1182 (ante, vol. ii, 
p. 40), appears to have had a daughter (Margery) for 
whose marriage, together with ' all the land of Miles de 
Cogan ', Thomas Bloet before 1211 made a fine of 500 
marks (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 422, 452). This fine 
was still unpaid in 1227 (ibid., no. 1504). Thomas Bloet 
was an official of King John, and was employed by him in 
1207 to summon John d'Erlee and other followers of 
William the Marshal in pursuance of the intrigue against 
the earl, of which we have given an account : ante, vol. ii, 
pp. 212-16. He appears as a great Munster lord in 1210, 
when he joined King. John with a large force from Mun- 
ster (Prest. Rolls, p. 188), and he was one of the magnates 
who joined in the declaration of loyalty to the king in 
1211 (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 448). He must have 
been dead by February 1217, when a fine of 100 marks 
was accepted from Margery de Cogan ' to have the land 
of her inheritance in Desmond ' (ibid., no. 758). This 
Margery was, I think, the granddaughter of Miles de 
Cogan, now a feme-sole and widow of Thomas Bloet, 
and there was presumably no issue of the marriage. It 
is a reasonable conjecture that soon after this date she 
was married to Patrick de Courcy. There is indeed no 
direct evidence for this marriage, but in 1221 Patrick de 
Courcy and Robert de Carew were the principal tenants 
in chief in Cork, and they 1 and their respective descen- 
dants for several generations appear to have been held 
liable in equal moieties for the sixty services reserved in 
the original grant to Miles de Cogan and Robert Fitz 

In my former note (ante, vol. ii, p. 50) I confused this 
Margery de Cogan with the Margarita jiiia Milonis who 
made a grant in Rosselethry (Ros Ailither, now Rosscar- 
bery) to St. Mary's Abbey (Chart., vol. ii, p. 4), but I now 
think that the former was daughter and heiress of the 
latter. Margarita's grant was perhaps a death-bed gift 

1 That Patrick de Courcy and Robert de Carew were so 
held liable is evidenced by the fact that, in the Pipe Rolls 
and Exchequer accounts, payments for these services were 
entered under their names (as was not unusual) long after 
they were both dead. See e. g. Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv. 
no. 473. 


which did not take effect. The whole cantred, saving 
the bishop's demesnes, had been given by King John to 
David de Roche in 1207. Margarita's grant or confirma- 
tion is witnessed by Geoffrey de Marisco, justiciar, i. e. 
between 1215 and 1221, and should, I think, be placed 
before February 14, 1217, when her daughter Margery 
fined for her inheritance in Desmond. At this date her 
mother, whose heir she was, must have been dead. 




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Thomas f. Maurice, 
younger son of Maurice f. Gerald I qui obiit 1176. 
He obtained Shanid, c. 1197 : ante, vol. ii, p. 164 ; 
died 1213. 

John f. Thomas, = Margt., dau. 
succeeded to Shanid ; Thomas f. 
held cantred of Anthony. 

Acmikery : supra, p. 133 ; 
given Decies and Desmond 
in 1259: supra, p. 140 ; killed 
at Callann in 1261. 

Maurice f. John, = Matilda, dau. of 
killed at Callann in David de 
1261. Barry I. 



Thomas f. Maurice, = Margt. dau. 
came of age in 1282 ; of Thomas 
given Decies and de Berkeley. 
Desmond in 1292 : 
supra, p. 145 ; 
died 1298. 

Maurice f. Thomas, sent 

to Ireland in 1215 with 

Geoffrey de Marisco : 

supra, p. 131; held 

manor of Altry. 

Thomas f. Maurice, 

founded Franciscan 

Convent at Ardfert, 

in 1253 : F. M. ; 

died c. 1280. 

Maurice f. Thomas, = Elena, dau. 

held manor of of Wm. f. 

Altry : supra, p. 146 ; Elie. 

died in 1304. 

Maurice f. Thomas, = Katherine, dau. of 

obtained seisin in 

1314 ; created Earl 

of Desmond in 1329 ; 

died in 1356. 

Richard de Burgh, 
Earl of Ulster. 

Nicholas f. Maurice, 
knighted in 1313 by 

John f. Thomas, 

ofOffaly: Laud MS., 

p. 342. 

Maurice f. Nicholas, 

positus ad dietam in 1339, by 

the Earl of Desmond : 

Laud MS. and Clyn. 

Jolin f. Nicholas, 
still alive in 1375 : 
Pat. ^Ireland) 49 Edw. Ill, 
no. 168. 






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Ever since the beginning of the thirteenth 
century Cathal Crovderg O'Conor had remained 
in undisturbed possession of Connaught, holding 
it, since 1215 at any rate, by charter in fee during 
good service as a vassal of the Crown, subject to 
an annual rent of 300 marks. 1 Viewed as a feudal 
fief, Connaught on Cathal's death would pass under 
John's charter in ordinary course to his eldest son 
Aedh, and, as we have seen, 2 Cathal just before 
his death in 1224 was anxious to obtain from 
Henry III a confirmatory charter to Aedh in fee. 
No such confirmation appears to have been actually 
Aedh, son obtained, but on Cathal's death Aedh, we are 
of Cathal, told, ' assumed the government of Connaught . . . 
1224. for he had been a king in dignity beside his father 
previously, and the hostages of Connaught were at 
his command \ 8 From this and other indications 
it may be inferred that Aedh was not inaugurated 
' O'Conor ' by the twelve chieftains of the Sil 
Murray according to ancient custom. In ordinary 
course it was more usual for the chieftainship 
to pass to a brother, brother's son, or cousin of 
the deceased chieftain — to some near male agnate 
otherwise qualified. In recent times, however, it 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 189, 263, 285-7. 2 Supra, o. 40. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1224. 


had become increasingly common for a son to 
secure his father's vacant throne, and, if he proved 
himself ' the best man ', to obtain or enforce 
recognition from the ' urrighs' or subordinate chief- 
tains. Aedh would no doubt have preferred to 
owe his position to the free choice or the strong 
arms of his followers, rather than rely on English 
charters or English support, and it was perhaps 
to gain popularity with the clansmen that he 
burned the castle of Ardowlin and killed its 
occupants. But as he had to call upon the justiciar 
to support his claim to the throne, his succession 
may perhaps be regarded as the first important 
example of a Celtic chieftainship descending as 
a quasi-feudal fief from father to son. 

King Aedh, son of Cathal, though apparently 
supported by the English, had rivals and enemies 
among his own kith and kin at home, ready to 
dispute his succession. Even before Cathal's 
death, Dermot, son of Rory O'Conor, the last ard-ri, 
made an abortive attempt to gain the sovereignty 
of Connaught, 1 and now, early in 1225, Turlough Turiough, 
and Aedh, also sons of Rory, obtained the assis- * on of 
tance of Aedh O'Neill to contest the throne. The male 
Sil Murray clans, with the exception of the Mac king by 
Dermots, together with the O'Flahertys and S^ 1 ' 
others, joined in the rebellion against Aedh, son of 
Cathal. After pillaging Eastern Connaught as far 
as the woods of Athlone, O'Neill marched to 
Carnfree, where he made Turlough O'Conor king. 3 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1221. 

2 Ann. Ulst. 1225. In Ann. Loch Ce there is a double 
entry : first under 1224 (following the Annals of Ulster even 
in a blunder as to an important verb), and again at greater 
length from another source, under 1225, probably the true 
date. The Four Masters, 1225, combine the two sources and 
correct the faulty verb. 



This was the beginning of a series of desolating 
wars which ended in the Anglo-Norman domina- 
tion of Connaught under Richard de Burgh and 
his followers. 

Meanwhile Aedh, unable to resist his enemies 
by himself, went for assistance to Athlone, where 
the English were at the time holding a court, 
' and every one of them ', we are told, ' was a friend 
of his, for his father's sake and his own, for he 
and his father before him were very liberal in 
wages to them. And he brought with him the 
justiciar 1 and as many of the foreigners of Erin 
as he thought sufficient'. Donough Cairbrech 
O'Brien and O'Melaghlin of Meath also assisted 
him with their forces. There is an unusually 
elaborate account of this campaign, apparently 
derived from contemporary reports, in the Annals 
of Loch Ce, but we need not follow it in detail. 
The first The opposing forces which were operating in the 
north of the province came to no regular engage- 
ment, but there was a good deal of harrying and 
plundering the land. In fact the Irish mal- 
contents were unable to face the Normans in the 
field of battle, while Aedh, son of Cathal, was un- 
able to cope with his enemies without Norman aid. 
O'Neill, we are told, 'went on a quick march 
to his house on hearing that a large army of 
foreigners and Munstermen were coming against 
him \ 2 The forces of the sons of Rory dispersed, 
and were mainly concerned ' to protect their cows 


1 William Marshal the younger was justiciar up to June 25, 
1 226, when he was superseded by Geoffrey de Marisco : Pat. 
Roll, 10 Hen. Ill, p. 47. Geoffrey, however, conducted this 
campaign (Ann. Ulst., 1225) as deputy of the Earl Marshal, 
who had been summoned to England in November 1224 : 
Rot. Claus., 9 Hen. III. vol. ii, p. 96 b. 

2 Ann. Ulst., 1225. 


and people and to make peace for their sake until 
his foreigners should depart from Aedh son of 
Cathal.' 1 At the same time a second army of 
foreigners, led by Murtough O'Brien and ' the 
sheriff of Cork ', entered Connaught from the 
south and harried the land. Aedh, son of Cathal, 
we are told, ' disliked their coming into the 
district, for it was not he who had invited them ; 
but when they heard of all the spoils the justiciar 
with his foreigners had obtained, envy and 
jealousy seized them.' 2 By 'the sheriff of Cork ' 
is, no doubt, intended Richard de Burgh. He 
had recently been appointed seneschal of Munster, 3 
and this office would seem to have included that 
of sheriff. The King of Connaught would 
naturally have preferred to do without the aid of 
William de Burgh's son, but, on the other hand, 
it would have been very strange if Richard de 
Burgh, with his hereditary pretensions, did not 
have a finger in the open pie. The sons of 
Murtough O'Conor, another brother of Rory the 
late ardri, submitted to Aedh, son of Cathal, ' for 
the sake of their cows and people '. They formed 
a distinct sept known as Clan Murtough, and were 
at this time seated in Carra, County Mayo. 
O'Flaherty also submitted for the same reason, 
and was obliged to yield up the island fortresses 4 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1225, pp. 279, 281. 

2 Ibid., 1225, p. 281. 

3 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 1114, 1216, 1288. We 
usually read of the seneschal of a liberty, such as Leinster or 
Meath, and the sheriff of a county, such as Dublin or Water- 
ford ; but at this time Munster does not seem to have been 
divided into separate shire-grounds. In the Irish Pipe Roll 
for 19 Hen. Ill we find the sheriff of Munster's account, but 
no separate sheriff of Cork is mentioned. 

4 fnis-cremha, or ' Wild Garlic Island ', and Oilen na circe, 
or ' Hen Island '. See OTlaherty's West Connacht, p. 25. 

2251-1 L 


in Lough Corrib and the boats on the lake. On 
the other hand, Donough O'Brien was forced to 
submit to Aedh, son of Rory, and to make peace 
and ' drowning of candles ' with him to effect the 
release of some of his chief men who had been 
captured. But in every case the submission was 

No sooner were the foreigners, except a small 
band, departed from Aedh than O'Flaherty and 
the sons of Murtough and other ' royal heirs ' 
raised the standard of revolt and once more 
joined the sons of Rory. Aedh accordingly dis- 
patched messengers to the English requesting 
additional forces. His request was readily granted, 
' for ', adds the annalist, ' these expeditions were 
profitable to the foreigners, who used to obtain 
spoils and used not to encounter danger or conflict'. 
Second r p} ie English on this expedition were led by 
paign, ' William Cras and the sons of Griffin '. By the 
1225. ' former was meant William le Gras senior, cousin 
and seneschal of the Earl Marshal, and the latter 
were the sons of Griffin Fitz William, brother of 
Raymond le Gros. The elder of these, Matthew 
Fitz Griffin, held the manor of Knocktopher of the 
Earl Marshal. Evidently the earl, who had by 
this time returned to Ireland, entrusted the leader- 
ship of the campaign to his own men. This 
change of commanders is perhaps a premonitory 
symptom of that estrangement between Richard 
de Burgh and the lord of Leinster, which grew in 
strength next year and broke out with fatal con- 
sequences to the earl's brother a few years later. 
As before, there was no regular fighting, but much 
harrying of the land. The sons of Rory, once 
more deserted by the Connaught tribes (who went 
to protect their cows and people), sought refuge 
with O'Neill, ' and there resulted nothing to them 


from this hosting, but that the best territory in 
Erin was injured and destroyed through them'. 1 
Famine and plague followed the plundering : 
' Quidquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi.' It is 
ever thus, especially when the weaker side will 
neither submit nor face the ' trial by battle '. 

Hitherto Aedh O'Conor had been supported by 
the forces of the Crown, but now (in 1226) 
a change of policy on the part of the English 
Government took place. A plan which had been 
from time to time proposed by Richard de Burgh, 
but which had hitherto been rejected, or at least 
laid aside, was now put into operation. This was Policy of 
nothing less than the confiscation of the land of confi ^ a ' 
Connaught, and the granting of the greater part 
of it by royal charter to Richard de Burgh. The 
English Government may have been persuaded 
that Aedh, son of Cathal, was incapable of 
retaining the mastery of Connaught, that in view 
of the dissensions among the O'Conors and the 
Connaught clans, as to the succession to the 
throne, it was hopeless to expect peace in the pro- 
vince 2 under any native ruler, and that the 
present was a favourable opportunity for extending 
English domination over it. But when all is said 
that can fairly be said in favour of the new policy, 
the fact remains that it involved harsh treatment 
of King Cathal's son, and was not unnaturally 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1225 (p. 289). It will be observed that 
throughout the long-disputed succession to the throne of 
Connaught between the sons of Rory and the sons of Cathal 
Crovderg, the former, when driven out, sought protection 
and aid from O'Neill, while the latter had recourse to 
O'Donnell. Lassairfhina, daughter of Cathal Crovderg, was 
wife of this O'Donnell: Ann. Loch Ce, 1239. 

2 In this very year (122(5) fighting went on between the 
clan-groups of Connaught, and several chieftains were killed. 

L 2 


regarded by him and his followers as an act of 
treachery and deception. Nor was this view 
confined to his Irish followers. Many of the 
Norman barons resented this treatment of an 
Irish king whose cause they had supported, and 
by whose side they had fought. At their head 
was Earl William Marshal, till now the justiciar, 
and the facts established by a study of the 
authorities show beyond a doubt that the earl's 
refusal to endorse the new policy was the true 
cause of his supersession at this time by Geoffrey 
de Marisco, as well as of the opposition to that 
policy which speedily manifested itself among the 
earl's vassals. 1 

As has been mentioned, 2 when King John, in 
1215, gave to Cathal Crovderg O'Conor a confir- 
matory charter of all the land of Connaught 
except the castle of Athlon e, he made an alterna- 
Richard tive grant to Richard de Burgh of ' all the land 
poS.' 6 of Connaught which William his father held of 
the king'. These two grants were mutually 
inconsistent, but the latter grant was held in 
abeyance, presumably to come into operation in 
the event of Cathal's default and forfeiture, and 
seisin was not given in pursuance of it. In 1219 
Richard, then with the king in England, made 
a new offer for a charter materially curtailing for 

1 Miss Norgate (Minority of Hen. Ill, p. 260) rightly sees 
in Geoffrey's appointment the hand of Hubert de Burgh, 
Kichard's uncle (not ' brother ' as she says), but she can only 
attribute ' the jealousy of the de Burghs ' to Earl William's 
' successes in Wales and Ireland and his marriage with the 
king's sister'. These things may have partly influenced 
Hubert, but as regards Ireland, Kichard de Burgh had a 
much stronger motive. He well knew that as long as 
William Marshal was justiciar he could not carry out his long- 
cherished scheme for the confiscation of Connaught. 

2 Ante, vol. ii, p. 285, note. 


his own benefit Cathal's rights ; l but this offer 
was rejected, and renewed protection was granted 
to Cathal for four years. 2 In 1220 Richard 
returned to Ireland 3 and received a general 
mandate for seisin of all the lands of which his 
father had been disseised, and this mandate was 
repeated in 1223. 4 In terms these mandates would 
seem to include Connaught, but no immediate 
steps to give seisin were taken. Apart from 
Connaught, Eichard de Burgh inherited several 
valuable manors in the present counties of 
Limerick and Tipperary, and at his death these 
manors were valued at £332 14s. id/' Prior to 

1 Rot. Claus. 3 Hen. Ill, p. 401. 

2 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 928. 
8 Four Masters, 1219. 

4 Rot. Claus. 4 Hen. Ill, p. 427, and 7 Hen. Ill, p. 551. 

5 Cal. Inq. P. M., 27 Hen. Ill, no. 19. These manors, 
besides Esclon, Castleconnell, Kilfeakle, and Kilsheelan, 
mentioned ante, vol. ii, pp. 166-9, were 'Wethemtire ', 
more correctly Wetheni-tire, Uaithne tire, now represented 
by the barony of Owney, County Tipperary, and to be equated 
with the manor of Castle Amory (Irish Pipe Roll, 1 Ed. I, 
36th Rep. D. K., p. 22, where the names mentioned can be 
found in this barony ; cf Eccl. Taxation, Cal. Docs. Irel. , 
vol. v, p. 281) ; ' Tristelaweran and Balihodan ', now Inch 
St. Lawrence and Ballyhobin in the barony of Clanwilliam, 
County Limerick ; ' Castrum Wilekhr, Caislen Uilcin (Four 
Masters, 1200), according to O' Donovan, Castle Erkin in the 
same barony ; Tiperacht, Tibberaghny near Carrick-on-Suir 
(Rot. Chart. 2 John, p. 71 b) ; ' Cloncridan ', Clonkerdin in the 
parish of Whitechuvch, County Kilkenny. ' Lisrothorach ', 
now Lisronagh (Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. v, p. 307, where the older 
form of the name is given) ; ' Oleithach ', Ui Luif/hdhech, the 
ancient barony of Ileagh, where Borrisoleigh retains the name 
and marks the Norman site (see Four Masters, vol. v, p. 1749, 
note) ; ' Lother ', Lothra, Lorrha (the manor along with 
' Tyrdeglas ' or Terryglass belonged to the Earl of Ulster 
prior to 1333, Inquis. P. M.. ' William de Burgo ', 7 Ed. Ill) ; 
' Grellach ', perhaps Grallagh in the parish of Dolla, Upper 
Ormond. Castle Amory and these last five manors have not, 
I think, hitherto been identified. 








1225 he had allied himself to the de Lacys by 
his marriage with Egidia, daughter of Walter de 
Lacy, and he had received with her the cantred 
of Ardmayle in County Tipperary. 1 Through the 
influence of his uncle Hubert de Burgh, justiciar 
of England, he was now high in favour with the 
king. In 1225 he was appointed seneschal of 
Munster and custodian of the castle of Limerick, 
and the Crown rent of 250 marks out of Decies 
and Desmond was assigned to him for his 
maintenance in the king's service. 2 

Next year the new policy was declared. On 
June 25, 1226, Earl William Marshal was super- 
seded in the office of justiciar of Ireland by 
Geoffrey de Marisco. 3 No reason is assigned for 
this supersession, but five days later the new 
justiciar obtained the required orders to summon 
Aedh, son of Cathal, late King of Connaught, 
before the king's court in Dublin ' to surrender 
the land of Connaught, which he ought no longer 
to hold on account of his father's and his own 
forfeiture'. If Aedh refused to surrender, the 
justiciar was to ascertain by the court the truth 
of the forfeiture, and if it was found that Aedh 
had forfeited the land, the justiciar was to take it 
into the king's hand. 4 He was then to grant 

1 Eot. Claus. 9 Hen. Ill, p. 85 b (Cal. no. 1268), where 
Ioganach Cassel, Eoglianacht Caisil, is to be equated with the 
cantred of Ardmayle, restored to Walter de Lacy in 1217 ; 
Cal. no. 743. As Egidia de Lacy survived Richard, and as 
his sons were minors at his death in 1243, the statement that 
he married a daughter of Aedh, son of Cathal, who was the 
mother of his younger sons, made by an Irish genealogist 
(see ' West Connaught ', Hardiman's note, p. 38) and followed 
in ' The O'Conors of Connaught ' (p. 97), must be dismissed 
as apocryphal. 

2 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 1288, 1292. 

3 Ibid., vol. i, nos. 1380, 1383. 

4 Patent Roll, 10 Hen. Ill, p. 48. 


seisin thereof to Richard cle Burgh, to hold of the 
king at the rent of 300 marks for the first five 
years and 500 marks subsequently. Five of the 
best cantreds nearest to the castle of Athlone 
were to be retained for the king's use. 1 

By the contemplated procedure the King of 
Connaught was to be treated as if he were simply 
a feudal tenant in chief of the Crown. No doubt 
this was his strict legal position. Under the 
charter granted to his father, Aedh held Connaught 
in fee during good service, and was not to be 
disseised of his land without judgement of the 
king's court. No feudal tenant on a charge of 
forfeiture could do more than demand to be tried 
by his peers. The precise act of forfeiture charged 
against Aedh is not stated. His sacking of 
Ardowlin and massacre of the garrison in 1224 
was presumably an act of forfeiture, but seeing 
that the justiciar William Marshal afterwards 
aided him to recover his throne, it would seem to 
have been condoned. There may indeed have 
been other breaches of feudal obligation, and 
Aedh probably well knew or was informed that 
he had no adequate defence, and that he must 
rely on his own right arm if he was to retain his 
position. Irish kings who were ready to accept the 
protection afforded by a charter from the Crown, 
and the military assistance given to them, were 
seldom equally ready to observe the correspond- 
ing obligations, or to accept the consequences 
of default. When confronted with these con- 
sequences they would fall back upon their status 
as tribal chieftains, which they did not regard as 
impaired by their submission to the English king. 
And indeed, seeing that feudal law, even if 

1 Ibid., p. 40. 



applicable between Aedh and the Crown, did not 
affect Aedh's relations with his Irish subjects, the 
analogy between Aedh's position and that of an 
ordinary feudal baron was far from complete. 

As already intimated, Aedh was not alone in 
resenting this strict application of feudal law to 
William his case. William Marshal, who was ever zealous 
in defending the rights of the aristocracy of 
England against the Crown, took immediate 
action in his defence. With a chivalry and 
a daring worthy of his sire, but without, perhaps, 
his sire's incomparable temper and tact, he seems 
to have warned Aedh of what was in store for 
him, directed his bailiffs to withhold delivery of 
the royal castles, and started on his way to 
Ireland, apparently with the intention of thwart- 
ing the new justiciar and Richard de Burgh. The 
king, however, intimated his displeasure at 
William's going to Ireland, and ordered him 
before doing so to surrender his castles of 
Caermarthen and Cardigan. 1 Consequently Wil- 
liam did not continue his journey. He was not 
prepared to carry his opposition to the new 
policy to the point of a direct conflict with the 
king, his brother-in-law. He surrendered the 
castles, met the king in August, in the Welsh 
Marches, and submitted to his will. Then he 
went to Ireland with letters of protection on the 
king's service, 2 presumably to deliver the royal 
castles held by his bailiffs to Geoffrey de Marisco. 
Geoffrey's Meanwhile, probably in July, Geoffrey de 
dispatch. Marisco landed at Waterford. From his letter to 
the king, written shortly after his arrival in 
Dublin, we learn both his proceedings and the 

1 Patent Roll, 10 Hen. Ill, p. 80 (July 10). 

2 Ibid., p. 59 (August 27). 


attitude of the Irish barons with regard thereto. 
He was about to proceed to Dublin to communi- 
cate the mandates to the king's subjects when 
he heard that Earl William, by the agency of 
Theobald Walter, was about to oppose his passage 
with all the force of Leinster. Having at length 
arrived at Dublin, he held a council, when all 
assembled rendered their oaths of fealty, except 
William Baron of Naas, Walter de Ridelisford, 
Matthew Fitz Griffin, and John de Clahull — all 
leading vassals of the earl. Theobald Walter too 
excused himself from taking the oath, asserting 
that he could not part with the custody of the 
castles confided to him by the earl without his 
mandate. 'All the [king's] castles of Ireland', 
says the justiciar, * are fortified against the king, 
save the castle of Limerick in the custody of 
Richard de Burgh, who always assists the 
justiciar in the king's affairs.' This loyal assis- 
tance on the part of Richard de Burgh is not 
surprising, seeing that the king's affairs in Ireland 
at this time were virtually directed by Hubert de 
Burgh in his nephew's interest. ' All the Irish ', 
adds Geoffrey, ' are so banded together and so 
wheedled by William Crassus (i.e. William le 
Gras, the Earl Marshal's seneschal) that they 
cannot be recalled from their conspiracy.' He 
goes on to state that the King of Connaught, ' at 
the instigation of William Crassus ', had become 
heedless of the king's mandates ; that he, Geoffrey, 
had summoned him to Dublin, but that as the 
king did not come he had appointed a day for 
him at Athlone. Thus far Geoffrey's letter. 1 In 
the Annals of Loch Ce, however, it is stated that 
when Aedh was summoned before the court in 

1 Royal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, p. 290. 


Dublin, 'he was betrayed in that court, until 
William Marshal, his own friend, came with his 
forces into the midst of the court; and they 
carried him out of it by force and conveyed him 
safely to his own country'. 1 Geoffrey's letter 
and other facts seem inconsistent with this 
dramatic action. Aedh did not appear when 
summoned, and it would seem that William 
Marshal was not in Ireland at the date of 
Geoffrey's letter. Nevertheless the entry is valu- 
able as giving the Irish view of the diverse 
sympathies of Anglo-Irish political parties. Prob- 
ably the substratum of fact was that William 
Marshal, through his seneschal William le Gras, 
warned Aedh of what was intended against him 3 
and advised him not to appear. The submission 
of William Marshal to the king's will was speedily 
followed by the withdrawal of opposition on the 
part of his vassals. William Marshal took no 
further part in Irish politics, but by his opposition 
to the scheme for the confiscation of Connaught 
he had sown the seeds of enmity towards his 
house which eight years later bore bitter fruit in 
the tragic death of the ' Knight of the Curragh '. 
For what happened at Athlone we may rely on 
Aedh's the Annals of Loch Ce. The meeting took place 

at Ath* k near a marsn outside Athlone. 2 William de 

lone. Marisco, Geoffrey's son, appeared on behalf of the 

justiciar with eight horsemen. Aedh came across 

the marsh with a few of his chief men, and 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, vol. i, p. 298. There is some confusion 
as to the date. The text gives 1226, which seems to be the 
true year, but the indicia supplied point to 1227. 

2 The Irish name of the place. Lathach-caech-tuaitlibhil, ' the 
northern blind slough ', is still partly preserved in that of 
the village of Bellaugh (Ml ldthaigh= 'entrance to the marsh '), 
lying west of Athlone. 


' remembering the treachery and deception prac- 
tised against him at Dublin ', immediately seized 
William. Aedh's people actively supported him ; 
the constable of Athlone was slain, and three of 
the deputation from the Government were taken 
prisoners and carried across the marsh. Then 
Aedh and the Connaught men plundered and 
burned the town of Athlone. 'This', says the 
short-sighted annalist, ' was a felicitous act for all 
the Connaught men, for they obtained their sons 
and daughters and the hostages of Connaught [in 
exchange for the prisoners], and peace for the Con- 
naught men afterwards.' 1 The peace, however, 
was only for the moment, and this outbreak gave 
Aedh's enemies the pretext for which they were 
looking. He had now committed a clear act of 
forfeiture. In May 1227 the grant of Connaught 
in fee to Richard de Burgh on the terms already 
settled was formally executed, 2 and the tenants 
in chief of Ireland were summoned for an expedi- 
tion into Connaught with a view to punishing 
Aedh and giving Richard seisin. 3 The whole of 
Connaught was soon overrun by the English. Cam- 
They brought with them the sons of Rory, whom ^W^ ° f 
they had previously opposed. Richard de Burgh 
himself, with Aedh, son of Rory, plundered the 
country about Inishmaine on Lough Mask and 
took hostages. The justiciar, Geoffrey de Marisco, 
with Turlough, son of Rory, took the hostages of 
the Sil Murray in the northern part of the present 
County Roscommon, and erected the castle of 
Rinnduin 4 on the shores of Lough Ree. Other 

' Ann. Loch Ce, 1227 (rede 1226). 
2 Cal. Chart. Roll, 11 Hen. Ill, p. 42. 
:i Scutage was exacted from those who failed to attend, see 
Cal. no. 1581. 

4 For description and early history of the Castle of 


Death of 


detachments went against the O 'Flaherty s in the 
west of County Galway, into Carra in the middle 
of County Mayo, and to the country about Sligo, 
taking hostages and cattle. 1 Aedh, son of Cathal, 
fled to O'Donnell, and Connaught was for the 
moment reduced to submission without any 
serious opposition. 

As for Aedh, he returned from Tirconnell in 
the same year with his wife and his brother Felim. 
His wife was captured by the sons of Eory and 
handed over to the English, while Aedh himself 
a little later was killed in the house of Geoffrey 
de Marisco. There was a natural suspicion of ' an 
ugly treachery', but it is clear that he was de- 
throned by the Connaught men themselves, and 
it is said that he was killed in a fit of jealousy by 
an Englishman with whose wife Aedh had taken 
liberties, and that the Englishman was hanged 
next day by Geoffrey for the deed. 2 

Though possibly unconnected with this affair, 
there was now another change in the office of 
justiciar. On February 13, 1228, Geoffrey de 

j^fsticiaf^' Marisco was superseded by Kichard de Burgh. 

1228. The king, when announcing the new appointment, 
stated that Geoffrey had expressed a wish to 
retire. 3 There are indications, however, that 


"Rinnduin, see my paper on Athlone Castle, Journ. E. S. A. L, 
1907, pp. 274-5. 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1227. 

2 Ann. Ulst. 1228. In the Annals of Clonmacnois it is 
stated that Aedh ' came to an atonement ' with Geoffrey, and 
was by him restored to the kingdom of Connaught, and 
being afterwards in Geoffrey's house was killed, &c, as 
above. There is no other authority for Aedh's restoration to 
the throne. It is not improbable, however, that he came to 
Geoffrey with overtures for assistance, and even that these 
overtures were favourably received by Geoffrey. 

3 Pat. Eoll, 12 Hen. III. 


Geoffrey had quarrelled with Richard at this time. 
Geoffrey took no further part in the conquest of 
Connaught and was not one of those rewarded by 
a grant of lands there, and, as we have seen, he 
was opposed to Richard de Burgh and the other 
enemies of Earl Richard Marshal in 1234. Now 
in 1226-7 Richard de Burgh had been given 
the custody of the Crown lands in Decies and 
Desmond previously held by Thomas Fitz 
Anthony. 1 Richard complained to the king that 
the lands had been so alienated by Thomas Fitz 
Anthony that the residue did not suffice to yield 
the service due. Accordingly, in August 1227, the 
king ordered Geoffrey as justiciar to take in the 
king's hand and deliver to Richard all the lands 
which had been so alienated, and to certify their 
value and the amount of the residue, so that the 
king might enjoin what was just. 2 As Geoffrey 
in his former justiciarship had got into trouble 
about the dealings with these lands, and as he and 
some of his friends appear to have benefited by 
the alienations, we have here a probable source of 
his quarrel with Richard de Burgh. 

But Richard de Burgh had many friends and 
was now the leading figure among the Anglo- 
Normans. His grant of Connaught soon became 
effective, and constituted a partition of the 
province between him and the King of England. 
The five cantreds reserved to the latter bordered The 
along the Shannon from the river Suck northwards kin f' s 

cunt rents 

to Lough Allen, and thence to Lough Gill in 
County Sligo. They were known as Omany, 
Tirmany, Moy Ai, the Three Tuaths, and Moylurg 
and Tirerril considered as one cantred. Together 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 1462, 1502. 

2 Kot. Claus. 11 Hen. Ill, p. 195 6. 


they comprised nearly the whole of the present 
County Roscommon with parts of the adjoining 
baronies in County Galway, and the barony of 
Tirerril in County Sligo. 1 The remainder of the 
kingdom of Connaught, reckoned as twenty-five 
cantreds, was assigned to Richard de Burgh. As 
yet, however, he was far from having obtained 
4 quiet enjoyment ' of his great fief, and unfortu- 
nately we have few indications of how he proposed 
to obtain it. There was certainly no immediate 
attempt at colonization on a large scale. There 
never was any question of a wholesale clearance 
of population from any part of the land ; and it 
was not proposed to do without the intervention 
of an Irish king. The difficulty seems to have 
been to find a king who would accept a subordi- 
nate position, with a restricted territory, while 
permitting the Normans to make settlements in 
the country, and who, at the same time, would be 
able to command the obedience of the leading 
Irish tribes. 

Now that Aedh, son of Cathal, was out of the 

. way, it might be supposed that the Connaught 

clans would have united under the house of Rory ; 

Aedh and but ' a great war broke out in Connaught between 

Tl J 1 rloi j. g 5 the two sons of Ilory, for (Aedh) the younger son 

Rory, dis- did not yield submission to (Turlough) the elder, 

pute the anc j they destroyed Connaught between them '. 2 

sion ' Indeed what might be superficially regarded as 

• the ' War of the Connaught Succession ' between 

members of the O'Conor family, but what was in 

fact the ' War of the Conquest of Connaught ' by 

Richard de Burgh, lasted, with brief intermissions, 

1 For an attempt at a more precise demarkation see a 
paper by Mr. H. T. Knox, Journ. R. S. A. I., 1901, p. 365. 

2 Four Masters. Annals of Boyle, 1228. 


from its commencement, in 1225, for . altogether 
twelve years, and did not terminate until a king 
was found who was willing to hold the Saxon 
king's five cantreds as his territory and leave the 
rest of Connaught to the domination of Richard 
de Burgh. It would be unprofitable to follow 
minutely all the fortunes of this war, though for 
most years the annalistic materials for doing so 
are unusually abundant ; but in order to under- 
stand how the Normans became dominant in 
Connaught — or rather perhaps how it was that the 
change of rulers was so long in coining about — it 
is essential to note the chief phases of the conflict 
and the influence of English political changes in 
postponing the inevitable result. 

On returning to Ireland as justiciar, Richard de 
Burgh, like his father before him, became the 
King-maker of Connaught. At first he favoured 
Aedh, son of Rory, and he ' was made king by the Aedh, son 
election of the justiciar and the chiefs of Connaught °* ^ ory ' 
in preference to Turlough his elder brother V king. 
But it seems that the war between the sons of 
Rory went on. ' The churches and territories of 
Connaught were pillaged by them, and its clergy 
and folk of learning were expelled into foreign 
countries.' 2 The year 1229 is a blank in the 
annals as regards affairs in Connaught, 11 but the 
Close Roll shows that in July the king ordered 
Richard de Burgh to retain as demesne of the 
king the best lands in the five cantreds and to 

1 Four Masters, 1228. The entry in the Annals of Loch 
Ce is that ' Aedh son of Kory assumed the sovereignty of 
Connaught, and his brothers along with him'. 

2 Ann. Ulst., 1228. 

* The entries in the Annals of Loch Ce, 1229, touching 
the plundering of Einnduin, &c, are misplaced. They are 
repeated under 1236, the true date. 


take counsel as to settling the residue to the 
king's advantage, and that a grant was made by 
the king to Adam de Staunton, lord of Moone in 
County Kildare, of five knights' fees about Duna- 
mon on the river Suck. 1 It is probable that 
Eichard also made some grants, and that it was in 
this year he erected the castle of Meelick on the 
Shannon, where his father in 1203 seems to have 
utilized the church as the core of a mote. 2 

Probably, however, the actual settlement had 
not proceeded far when next year (1230) King 
Aedh, son of Rory, turned against Richard de Burgh. 
This he did at the instigation of Donn Og 
Mageraghty and Cormac Mac Dermot, ' for ', says 
the annalist, ' they pledged their word that they 
would not belong to any king who would bring 
them into the house of the foreigners \ 3 Presum- 
ably Richard de Burgh, in pursuance of the king's 
mandate, had been trying to induce them to 
become tenants of the English Crown. Aedh and 
his followers set about plundering the new settle- 
ments made by the English in Tirmany and the 
Cam- lands of the Mac Costellos. Richard de Burgh 
1230 U ° now ^ °k U P * ne cause of Felim, son of Cathal, 
Crovderg, representative of the rival branch of the 
O'Conors. He entered Connaught from the south, 
accompanied by Felim, and supported, not only by 
the English barons, but also by the kings of 
Thomond and Desmond with their Gaelic forces. 4 
After skirmishing somewhat ineffectually with the 
O'Flahertys near Galway, and obtaining pledges 
from Manus 'Conor of Clan Murtough in the 
region about Clew Bay, they marched through the 

1 Close Boll, 13 Hen. Ill, m. 7, p. 194. 

2 Ante, vol. ii, p. 192, Felim was imprisoned here in 1231. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1230. 

4 Annals of Inisfallen, 1230 (Dublin MS.). 


southern part of the present County Sligo and 
over the Curlieu hills, with the object of forcing 
an engagement with Aedh, son of Rory, and the 
Sil Murray, who were in a wood near Lough Key. 
At length, contrary to the advice of King Aedh, 
whose plan was to clear the cattle from the 
country and avoid a battle, Donn Og Mageraghty 
resisted the march of Richard de Burgh and was 
slain and his force routed. Thereupon Aedh fled 
to O'Neill, the cattle of the Sil Murray, which had 
been driven off for safety across the Shannon to Felim,son 
the glens of Slieve-anierin in County Leitrim, of Cathal, 
were rounded up, and Felim was made king by king, 
the justiciar. 1 

Felim apparently proved no more tractable than Felim im- 
Aedh, son of Rory, and was imprisoned next year PJgj 0116 ^ 
(1231) by Richard at his castle of Meelick. We 
are left to conjecture the cause, but probably like 
Aedh he resented his subordinate and circum- 
scribed position. Aedh now made peace with 
Richard, whose terms, whatever they were, he 
must have accepted and was once more made 
king (1232). In this year Richard erected a castle 
at Galway, and Adam de Staunton commenced 
another at Dunamon. 

But now a change took place as the immediate Fall of 
result of political changes in England. On ? U g erfc h 
July 29, 1232, Hubert de Burgh, who with all his 1232. 
shortcomings was the most faithful minister of 
the Crown since the death of the great William 
Marshal, and after Stephen Langton its most 

1 Annals of Loch Ce, Ulster, Boyle, and Clonmacnois, 
1230. The account given in Roger of Wendover (Coxe, 
vol. iv, pp. 213-14), apparently of this battle, receives no 
support from the detailed statements of the Irish annalists, 
and is certainly wrong in stating that Geoffrey de Marisco 
was then justiciar and leader of the English forces. 

2251-1 M 


patriotic adviser, was dismissed and disgraced, 
and the king fell under the influence of his old 
guardian, Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, 
and his Poitevin nephew (?) Peter of Rivaux. 
A clean sweep was made of the old officials, 
lucrative posts were showered on the creatures of 
Peter des Roches, and bands of Poitevin merce- 
naries were brought into England. At the same 
time the baronial party, naturally incensed at 
their exclusion from the councils of the king, were 
weakened by the deaths of the younger William 
Marshal and Randolf, Earl of Chester. The former, 
who had proved himself a not unworthy successor 
of his father, died prematurely in May 1231, and 
the latter, who had long headed the old feudal 
aristocracy, died in October 1232. 

Two important consequences to Ireland followed 
from this change in the king's advisers. We have 
already dealt with the revolt and tragic death of 
Earl Richard Marshal, which was directly traceable 
to Poitevin intrigues. The more immediate con- 
sequence was the fall of Richard de Burgh and 
the temporary undoing of his work in Connaught. 
At first an attempt was made to save Hubert 
de Burgh from his enemies by appointing him 
Justiciar of Ireland, with his nephew, Richard, as 
deputy, 1 and thus leaving open a retreat for him 
there. But the appointment was a dead letter. 
Before the end of July 1232 almost all the offices 
at the king's disposal in Ireland were lavished 
Peter of upon Peter of Rivaux, and Hubert was ignomini- 
Rivaux. ous iy dismissed. In Ireland Peter was given for 
life the offices of treasurer and chamberlain of the 
Exchequer, the king's prisage of wines, the custody 
of all the king's ports and coasts, the custody of 

1 Pat. Roll, 16 Hen. Ill, p. 487 (July 1). 


the king's Jews, also the custodies of the king's 
escheats and wards, of the king's castles of Athlone, 
Drogheda, and Kandown, with the king's five 
cantreds in Connaught, the custody of all vacant 
archbishoprics and bishoprics, of the city of 
Limerick with its castle, of Decies and Desmond 
with the city of Cork and the king's vill of Dun- 
garvan. 1 Never before had such power in Ireland 
been concentrated in the hands of one man — and 
he an untried foreigner resident in England. The 
Chancery of Ireland was conferred on Ealph 
Neville, Bishop of Chichester and Chancellor of 
England, to be administered by deputy. 2 The 
office of justiciar was indeed committed during 
pleasure to Maurice Fitz Gerald, grandson of the 
first Maurice, but the office was shorn of most of 
its powers, and Maurice was to call in the aid and 
counsel of Peter's bailiffs and the Deputy Chan- 
cellor in the king's affairs, and without their 
presence nothing was to be done. 3 

With the fall of his uncle, the Earl of Kent, Richard 
Richard de Burgh speedily lost the king's favour. f e g ^ urgh 
In August he was peremptorily ordered to release favour. 
Felim on his finding sureties to abide any charge 
that might be made against him, 4 and to deliver 
up the royal castles to Peter of Rivaux. On 
September 2 he was superseded in the office of 
justiciar by Maurice Fitz Gerald. Richard released 
Felim, with consequences which did not make for 

1 Cal. Chart. Koll, 16 Hen. Ill, m. 3, p. 166. 

2 Close Koll, 16 Hen. Ill, p. 112. Geoffrey de Turville, 
the chancellor's deputy, had been chamberlain of the Ex- 
chequer from 1226. He was appointed treasurer in 1234, 
an office which he honourably filled up to his death in 1250. 
He was elected Bishop of Ossory in 1244. 

3 Ibid., pp. 102-3. 

4 Ibid., p. 101. 

M 2 


the peace of Connaught, and after some delay 
surrendered the castles ; but a special commission 
was appointed to audit his accounts and to prose- 
cute the king's plaint against him, 1 and the 
justiciar was afterwards ordered to take into the 
king's hand the land of Connaught and keep it 
for the king's use. 2 Richard refused to surrender 
his castle of Meelick, and the king gave orders first 
to the justiciar and then to Felim O'Conor to take 
it by force. 3 This, however, was not done, and 
in the spring of 1234 Richard de Burgh regained 
the king's favour, if he did not add to his own 
reputation, by the action he took against Richard 

Meanwhile Felim O'Conor made use of his 
liberty to destroy his rivals. Acting with the 
Mac Dermots and others, he organized a hosting 
Aedh, son into Connaught, in the course of which Aedh, son 
8iain° ry ' °f R° r y> King of Connaught, one of his brothers, 
1233.' and two of his nephews, were slain, and with them 
fell for ever the sovereignty of this branch of the 
O'Conors. Felim then proceeded to destroy the 
castles that had been erected by Richard de Burgh 
and the sons of Rory, namely, the castles of Gal- 
way and Dunamon, the Hen's castle and the Hag's 
Castle, the two last island castles probably those 
in Lough Corrib and Lough Mask respectively. 4 
He now ' assumed the sovereignty and govern- 
ment over the Connaught men ', and, owing to 
the king's quarrel with Richard de Burgh, he was 
not interfered with. Indeed it was in May of 
this year that the king fatuously invited Felim to 

1 Cal. Patent Roll, 17 Hen. Ill, p. 10 (Feb. 4, 1233). 

2 Close Roll, 17 Hen. Ill, p. 306 (May 3, 1233). 

s Ibid., and Cal. Patent Roll, 17 Hen. Ill, p. 17. 
4 Ann. Loch Ce, 1233. 


take the castle of Meelick from Richard, while at 
the same moment he was urging the justiciar to 
subjugate to the king's power the whole of Con- 
naught. Such futile and virtually inconsistent 
mandates show how little the king understood of 
the real position of affairs in Connaught and give 
us the measure of his intellect, which never knew 
how to adapt means to ends. By this time indeed 
(July 1233) Henry began to make preparations for 
an immediate expedition in person to Ireland. 1 
This was certainly a wise project, but on August 28, 
having on his hands the more pressing task of 
countering the revolt of Richard Marshal in Wales, 
Henry changed his purpose and countermanded 
the preparations. 2 

The capricious change in Henry's attitude 
towards Richard de Burgh had effects outside the 
borders of Connaught. In 1234 the Mac Carthys, 
as we have seen, attacked Tralee, Felim advanced 
into Westmeath and burned Ballyloughloe and 
Ardnurcher, where the Normans had mote-castles 
from early times, 3 and — more ominous still — 
Donough Cairbrech O'Brien, King of Thomond, 
who had for so many years worked loyally with 
the de Burghs and fought by their side, now 
allied himself with Felim, attacked the city of 
Limerick, and plundered O'Heyne, a chieftain in 

1 Close Roll, 17 Hen. Ill, pp. 316-17. At the same time 
the king ordered that (Cormac Finn) Mac Carthy should he 
restored to the state from which he was removed by Richard 
de Burgh. 

2 Ibid., p. 322. 

3 Ann. Clonmacnois, 1234. For the mote at Ballyloughloe 
(Baile locha luatha) see Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxvii (1907), 
p. 273. It is probably to be identified with the castle of 
' Laghelachon ' restored to Walter de Lacy in 1215: Rot. 
Pat., 17 John, p. 148 b. For the castle of Ardnurcher see 
ante, vol. ii, p. 89. 


de Burgh 


the south, of Galway who had remained faithful 
to Richard in his adversity. 1 

But Felim's day of independence lasted only as 
long as the royal ire against Richard de Burgh, or 
to favour, rather, perhaps we should say, while the Poitevins 
controlled Henry's emotions. In April 1234 the 
Bishop of Winchester and Peter of Rivaux were 
dismissed from their offices. In May Richard 
regained the king's favour as a reward for his 
action against the Earl Marshal, and in September 
his land of Connaught was restored to him as 
before. The justiciar, Maurice Fitz Gerald, was 
ordered to give him seisin, and Richard himself 
was urr^ed to exert himself strenuously to take 
possession of the land. 2 In fact the conquest of 
Connaught had to be begun over again. 

Next year (1235) there was a general muster of 
the feudal host under Maurice Fitz Gerald to 
obtain once more the submission of Connaught. 
Among the leaders expressly named were Richard 
de Burgh, Hugh de Lacy, Walter de Ridelisford, 
and John de Cogan. To these we may probably 
add Gerald de Prendergast, Gerald de Roche, 
Peter de Bermingham, Matthew Fitz Griffin, and 
John le Botiller. All of these shared in the ex- 
ploitation of Connaught, and nearly all were now 
or later connected by marriage. Thus Hugh de 
Lacy married as his second wife Emeline, daughter 
of Walter de Ridelisford ; John de Cogan married 

paign of 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1235. In the Pipe Roll for 19 Hen. Ill 
may be found a reference to O'Brien's defection. Hugh de 
Barry, sheriff of Limerick, took credit for expenses ' in 
repairing the injuries caused by D. Carebrach at Limerick ' : 
35th Rep. D. K., p. 35. 

2 Close Roll, 18 Hen. Ill, pp. 525, 561. The king bade 
him ' quod de terra predicta perquirenda viriliter et potenter 
se intromittat '. 


a daughter of Gerald de Prendergast ; Gerald 
married as his second wife a daughter of Richard 
de Burgh ; while Richard was married to Egidia, 
daughter of Walter de Lacy. At first the feudal 
host went northwards from Athlone by Ros- 
common and Elphin to Boyle Abbey. They failed, 
however, to come to close quarters with Felim, 
who well knew their strength, and only succeeded 
in carrying off the cattle of the Sil Murray, which 
had as usual been driven for safety to the glens of 
Leitrim. Then they turned south into Thomond 
to punish O'Brien for his defection. Felim 
followed them to succour his ally, 1 but their joint 
forces were defeated, and O'Brien at once made 
peace and returned to his allegiance, while Felim 
lied to O'Donnell. O'Flaherty also made peace, 
and he and O'Heyne assisted the foreigners with 
their boats in ravaging the islands in Clew Bay. 2 
Here Manus 'Conor, head of Clan Murtough, 
who alone in the lands of Richard de Burgh seems 
to have resisted, had retreated with his cattle. 

After punishing O'Donnell for granting asylum Assault of 
to Felim, the army assaulted the island-rock of £0™ l hCe 
Lough Ce, which belonged to Mac Dermot. This 
assault is peculiarly interesting, not only as being 
an almost, if not quite, unique case of the Irish at 
this period defending a fortress, but also as show- 
ing that the Normans employed siege-engines, 
when required, in Ireland. They appear to have 
mounted on ships some small pierriers, or engines 
for discharging large stones, and to have con- 
structed galleries or covered ways to protect the 

1 It was probably at this time that Felim broke down the 
castle of Meelick : Ann. Loch Ce, vol. i, p. 333. 

2 See O'Flaherty's West Connaught, p. 51. As there stated 
the boats must have been drawn overland from Lough Comb 
to Leenane in Killary Harbour. 



the five 

men working the engines. 1 With these they 
threw many stones into the island-fortress, but 
without avail. They then made some rude boats 
out of the timber of some neighbouring houses, 
filled them with combustible materials, bound 
them together into one large raft, and tied empty 
barrels around it to keep it afloat. When all was 
ready a large vessel protected by a plank-house 
towed the whole construction towards the fortress 
to set it on fire. The garrison, however, smitten 
with fear at these stratagems, surrendered on 
terms. The justiciar put a ward in the fortress, 
but twenty days later one of them treacherously 
locked out the rest, and they fled to Trinity 
Island, to the protection of Clarus Mac Mailin, 
Archdeacon of Elphin, whom they had previously 
befriended — an ignominious ending to a successful 

As the result of this campaign Felim 'made 
peace with the justiciar and obtained the king's 
five cantreds out of which he was to receive rent 
and customs ', 2 and Mac Dermot submitted at the 
same time. This amounted to a recognition by 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1235, p. 328. Compare the curious phonetic 
passage in the Annals of Boyle as given in O'Grady's Cata- 
logue of Irish MSS. The editor of the Annals of Loch Ce 
misunderstands the technical terms go ngailleribh ocus co 
pirrelaibh, which are probably loan-words from the French. 
A pirrel was, presumably, a small pierrier (Lat. petraria), a 
general term here denoting a trebuchet, or a mangonel, as it 
was more often called in England, and gailler is probably 
galerie. The word crefal, which the editor takes as 'an 
earthen wall ', appears in the Annals of Connacht and in the 
Annals of Boyle as crebannach. It probably denoted some 
sort of wooden mounting for the pierrier, and was carried on 
board ship. The dauphin brought a trebuchet to England in 
1217 : see Minority of Henry III (Norgate), p. 27. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1235. 


Felim of the partition of Connaught between him- 
self and Richard de Burgh, the latter indeed 
getting the lion's share, but each holding as a 
tenant of the Crown at a definite rent. The Four 
Masters however state that Felim was given ' the 
king's five cantreds free of tribute or rent ', but it 
is quite certain that this was not the fact. In this 
year Felim paid £90 13s. 4d. towards his fine for 
the farm of the five cantreds, and his rent at this 
time seems to have been £400 a year. 1 At a later 
period he paid a rent of £300 for a reduced 
territory. This rent eventually fell into large 
arrears, but it seems to have been paid with toler- 
able regularity as long as Felim lived. 2 Felim 
and his successors no doubt enjoyed the empty 
title of King of Connaught, but apart from all 
question of rent, their rights and jurisdiction were 
confined to the cantreds which they held of the 
King of England, and owing to their outbreaks as 
time went on these cantreds were reduced in 
number. These facts, absolutely vital to the 
understanding of the subsequent history of Con- 

1 Pipe Koll (Ireland), 19 Hen. Ill, 35th Kep. D. K., p. 37. 
For the two and a half years ending with Easter term 1235 
Master Stephen de Turri ' accounts for £1,000 rent of Con- 
naught, viz. at £400 per year '. Most of the money was 
expended on works at the bridge of Athlone and the castles 
of Kandown, Athlone, and Ardnurcher. 

2 The next extant account is in the Pipe Roll for the 46th 
year of Henry III, P. R. O. Dublin, from which the follow- 
ing is taken : ' Fethelmus Okonechor (Felim O'Conor) [owes] 
£G00 for the farm of the said three cantreds (viz. Mackny, 
Tyrthotha, and Maylurg, i. e. Maghn-Ai, Trituatha, and Magli 
Luirg) for this and the preceding year, as is contained in the 
bond of the said Felim which is in the treasury, and £1,050 
arrears of the same for several preceding years, as is con- 
tained in roll 44.' That is to say, at Michaelmas 1262, Felim 
owed five and a half years' rent at £300 a year. 


naught, have been too often ignored or obscured 
by writers on the subject. 1 

The rent of Richard de Burgh for his share of 
Connaught consisting of twenty-five cantreds was 
500 marks a year. He had also made a line of 
8,000 marks for the recovery of his land and for 
acquittance of his account when justiciar. In 
June 1236, however, Richard went to England to 
confer with the king, and he obtained a remission 
of £1,000 out of his fine, and easier terms for the 
payment of the balance. 2 

While Richard de Burgh was in England, the 
justiciar, Maurice Fitz Gerald, for some unex- 
plained reason 3 once more banished Felim and 
Brian, gave the possession of the five cantreds to Brian, 
T° n i° f l son °^ furlough, son of Rory. Felim, however, 
made ° ' soon returned, and a bitter contest followed 
king by between the descendants of Cathal Crovderg and 
ciar. 1_ * nose 0I> Rory. Felim succeeded in crossing the 
bawn of the castle of Rinn-duin, 4 where his rival 
Brian was installed, and driving off the cattle 

1 Mr. Knox is perhaps the only writer who has recognized 
the true position of Felim and his successors. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2342. 

3 A consequence if not the cause of this quarrel was the 
erection ' against Connaught ' of a castle called ' Muille 
Uanach ' (probably in Onagh, a townland in the parish of 
Taghmaconnell on the east side of the river Suck, due west 
of Athlone), perhaps to keep the way open from Athlone to 
Galway : Ann. Loch Ce, 1238. It is called 'Mayllonach ' in 
1245: Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 2792. 

4 The castle of Einn-duin was not entered, nor probably 
the inner ward. The ditch of the inner ward is connected 
with a ditch running south-west and cutting off the point of 
the peninsula. For a description of the existing remains and 
a slight sketch of the early history of the castle see Journ. 
K. S. A. I., 1907, pp. 274-5. New works had been going on 
there in the previous year : Pipe Roll (Ireland;, 19 Hen. Ill, 
loc. cit., p. 37. 


which had been collected in ' the island ' beyond — ■ 
i.e. on the point of the peninsula cut off by 
a large ditch (which may still be seen) connected 
with the lake — and in the fighting that ensued 
' a multitude of the host of cursed candle- 
extinguished [excommunicated] people were slain 
in the island and outside \ 1 From this expression 
we may infer that Felim had the spiritual support 
of the local church. 

When Richard de Burgh returned from England 
he still supported Felim. He appears, however, 
to have left the justiciar to deal with the king's 
five cantreds and went to quell or disperse those 
in his own part of Con naught who had turned 
against Felim. 2 This was done without much 
trouble, but the contest between Felim and the 
sons of Rory, though confined to the five cantreds, 
went on during this year and part of the next, 
when it ended in the final dispersal of the 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1236. 

2 The passage in the Annals of Loch Ce, vol. i, p. 337, is 
rather confused, but probably it should be rendered thus : 
• When Mac William heard of the defeat inflicted on those 
of his people who had turned against him [i. e. Felim], he 
joined O'Connor [i. e. Felim] and went to expel or subdue 
them.' The annalist then tells how Dermot, son of Maghnus 
[son of TurloughJ O'Conor went for protection to Maghnus of 
Clan Murtough, and how Richard pursued him and forced 
him to submit. This Dermot had apparently fought against 
Felim. The annalist would not call Brian, son of Turlough, 
son of Rory, ' O'Conor ' simply, as supposed by Mr. Knox 
(Hist, of Mayo, p. 87), whereas he frequently in this same 
year calls Felim by that title. The above interpretation is 
virtually that of the Four Masters. The editor of the Annals 
of Loch Ce supposes that Richard went to attack or pacify 
Felim, but that is just what he did not do. In these events 
we may probably see the first sign of that jealousy between 
the de Burghs and the Geraldines in Connaught which in 
after years manifested itself more openly. 


surviving descendants of Rory, ' so that they had 
no residence in Sil Murray V 

The annalist sums up the whole of this dis- 
turbed period as follows : ' During the period of 
twelve years down from the war of O'Neill [1225] 
were the Foreigners and Gael plundering in turn, 
without sovereignty or supremacy being possessed 
by one beyond the other, but the Foreigners able 
to destroy it [Connaught] every time they came 
into it ; and the King and royal heirs of Connaught 
pillaging and profaning territories and churches 
after them/ From the point of view of the 
invaders the main trouble was with the O'Conors. 
The Normans had no difficulty in overrunning 
the country, and the lesser chieftains seem to 
have been ready enough to submit and become 
vassals of Richard de Burgh, but as soon as an 
O'Conor was set up as king, he either rebelled or 
was attacked by rival O'Conors of the same or, 
more usually, of a different branch of the family. 
The agony of the province incident to the change 
of masters was further prolonged for several 
years owing to the capricious change in English 
politics which brought about the temporary fall of 
Peace Richard de Burgh in 1232. At last, in 1237, 
™^ e ' peace was once more made by Maurice Fitz 
Gerald with Felim O'Conor, and the five cantreds 
were once more given to him. From this time 
up to Felim's death in 1265, though in his later 
years, in consequence of the outbreaks of his son 
Aedh, some of his territory was taken from him, 
Felim personally remained a loyal vassal of the 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1237. Brian, son of Turlough, son of 
Eory, the justiciar's protege, seems to have retired to the 
monastery of Knockmoy, where he ended his days in 


Crown, and Connaught, especially in the territory 
of the de Burghs, enjo}^ed comparative peace. 

In the course of these twelve years Richard de The con- 
Burgh made at least three great campaigns in queror of 
Connaught : one in 1227 against Aedh, son of naught. 
Cathal, another in 1230 against Aedh, son of 
Rory, and a third in 1235 against Felim, son of 
Cathal. Each time he banished the king who 
tried to thwart him, and each time he had the 
whole country at his mercy, until at last he forced 
Felim to accept his terms. But he did much 
more than this, as we shall see in the next 
chapter. He introduced into the districts he had 
subdued a new class of proprietors, or as they 
might more aptly be termed local rulers, who, 
whatever their faults, were much more modern in 
their ideas of political subordination, social order, 
and rural economy, than those who had preceded 
them, and the settlement thus established, more 
firmly in some places than in others, but influ- 
encing directly or indirectly at least three-fourths 
of the province, made on the whole for order 
and progress for at least a century. To Richard 
de Burgh, rather than to his father, 1 critical history 
will give the title of ' Conqueror of Connaught '. 

1 See ante, vol. ii, p. 198. 




Richard de Burgh had now a free hand in 
Connaught, and though sundry attempts at occu- 
pation had been made at various times since the 
beginning of the century, the effective settlement 
of Anglo-Normans in the province may be 
Castle- said to have commenced in 1237. In that year, 
building savs the Irish annalist, ' the barons of Erin came 
mences ^° Connaught and commenced to build castles 
1237. in it '. In the following year ' castles were erected 
in Muinter Murchada (the northern half of the 
barony of Clare, County Galway), Conmaicne 
Cuile (the barony of Kilmaine, south of the river 
Robe, County Mayo), and in Cera (the barony of 
Carra, County Mayo) by the aforesaid barons'. 1 
Save for personal quarrels among the O'Conors 
themselves the peace was unbroken. 

Unfortunately there is no contemporary sum- 
mary of Richard de Burgh's enfeoffments, such as 
the Song of Dermot gives of those of Strongbow 
and the elder Hugh de Lacy, and though there 
Sources of are transcripts in the ' Red Book of the Earl of 
mforma- Kildare ' and in the ' Gormanston Register ' of 
several charters of this period, we are largely 
dependent on indications in the annals, and on 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1237-8. 



inferences from later documents and records for 
our knowledge of the Anglo-Norman settlement 
in Connaught. Indeed the first comprehensive 
account is to be gleaned from the Inquisitions 
taken in 1333 1 after the murder of William 
de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, fifteen years after the 
great disruption caused by the Scottish invasion 
under Edward Bruce, and at a time when the 
royal power in Ireland had begun to wax faint. 

Eichard de Burgh's principal manor was at Seigno- 
Loughrea, where the castle which he built in ^ al 
1236 2 became the chief seignorial* seat of the 
lordship. In Earl Walter's time there were four 
carucates of demesne land at Toolooban near 
Dunsandle, and prior to 1333 even more, all 
arable land under the lord's plough. Eichard had 
also a castle and manor at Meelick on the 
Shannon. This was in O'Madden's country, 
where the Irish chiefs seem always to have been 
friendly to the de Burghs. We also hear of the 

1 Chancery Inquisitions p. m., 7 Ed. Ill, no. 39. These 
inquisitions are very voluminous and deal with the lands of 
the earl in Carlow, Uriel, Meath, Munster, and Ulster, as 
well as those in Connaught. For full abstracts and a careful 
study of those relating to Connaught see the papers by 
Mr. H. T. Knox in Journal R. S. A. I., vols, xxxii, xxxiii 

2 Ann. Clonmacnois, 1236. Loughrea was in the cantred 
of Maenmagh, which had been given by Cathal Crovderg to 
Gilbert de Nangle in 1195 : ante, vol. ii, p. 155. In February 
1207, king John confirmed this grant, but in the following 
November he made a grant to Gilbert of lands further to the 
east, no doubt in substitution for Maenmagh. This new 
grant included Muinter Maelfhinna'm. This, too, eventually 
passed to the de Burgh lord, but in conformity with the 
above it is stated in the inquisition of 1333 that it was 
not held in chief of the Crown like the rest of the lord- 
ship. Presumably the title was traced through Gilbert de 


earl's castle at Portumna, where the ferry was 
valuable. The castle at Gal way, erected in 1232, 
though destroyed by Felim next year, was no 
doubt rebuilt immediately on Richard's return to 
power. Not far off he formed a small manor in 
the parish of Ballinacourty, where the land juts 
out into the bay to the south-east of the town. 1 
Apart from the demesne-lands, the cantreds 
comprised in the present baronies of Loughrea, 
Leitrim, and Longford, and the district about the 
town of Gal way, appear to have been granted 
to free tenants for rent service, 2 or on minor 
tenures in comparatively small lots, and to have 
been strongly colonized. This was the territory 
which from about the middle of the fourteenth 
century became known as ' Clanrickard's country '. 
But the remainder of County Gal way and the 
whole of the counties Sligo and Mayo were 
granted in large fiefs to be held by military 
service and a money rent. In general the reser- 
vations were at the rate of twenty marks, and the 
service of two knights per cantred. In the 
reservation of a money rent the sub-infeudation 

1 This manor appears as ' the land of Metherye ' when 
restored to the second Richard de Burgh in 1247 : Close 
Roll, 31 Hen. Ill, p. 534. The name represents the Irish 
Medhraighe, famous as the western extremity of the Eiscir 
Riada, and has survived as ' Maaree ' : Four Masters, vol. vi, 
p. 2198, note. At Ballynacourty near the church are the 
remains of the basement of an early castle. 

2 For example : Rathgorgin, where there are remains of 
an early castle, was held by John Dolfin in 1271, and by 
Thomas Dolfin in 1333, at a rent of £3 6s. 8d. In the ad- 
joining townland of Oldcastle is a good example, rare in 
Connaught, of the mote-type of earthwork, perhaps dating 
from the time when Gilbert de Nangle held Maenmagh : see 
Journal, Galway Arch, and Hist. Soc, vol. ix, pp. 33-44. 
In 1585 twenty-seven quarters of land about here were 
known as ' Eraght Dolphine ' : West Connaught, p. 325. 


of Connaught differed from that of Leinster and 

Owing presumably to the loss of most of the 
Irish Pipe Rolls for the reign of Henry III, we 
have no wardship accounts x relating to the manor 
of Loughrea until the beginning of the reign of 
Edward I, when for eight years it was in the 
king's hand during the minority of Richard the 
Red Earl of Ulster. This was a disturbed time 
and the accounts are not complete, but the sum 
of £2,210 9s. 2d. was received for the king from 
the manor of Loughrea, and the sum of £129 14s. 
from the town fisheries, &c, of Galway. 2 

It was probably immediately after his decisive 
campaign of 1235 that Richard de Burgh set 
about rewarding those who had supported him, 
by granting them large fiefs in different parts 
of Connaught, to be held by knight's service 
and low rents. First of all to Hugh de Lacy he Grant of 
granted five cantreds, namely, Corran, Carbury- tne Sll °° 
Drumcliff, Tireragh on the Moy, Luighne, and to Hugh 

de Lacy. 

1 Yet there was a minority before each succession. Richard 
de Burgh died in 1243. His eldest son Richard came of age 
in February 1247, when seisin was granted to him (Cal. Docs. 
Irel., vol. i, no. 2865). The Connaught lands then held by 
the custodians are described as ' the land of Miloc ' (Meelick, 
barony of Longford), 'land of Metherye ' (now Ballinacourty), 
' land of Iocherye ' (probably a blundering form of Loch 
Eiach, Loughrea), the ' castles of Caylly and Kyrky ' (eaislen 
na Caillighe in Lough Mask and eaislen na Circe in Lough 
Corrib), and the islands in the two lakes (ibid., 2908). The 
second Richard de Burgh died before November 5, 1248, and 
was succeeded by his brother Walter in May 1250 (ibid., 
no. 3050). Walter died in 1271, and w r as succeeded by his son 
Richard the Red Earl in January 1280 (ibid., vol. ii, no. 1629). 
The Red Earl died in 1326, and in 1328 his grandson, Wil- 
liam, the Brown Earl, when only sixteen years of age, was 
put into possession of his estates. 

2 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 9 Ed. I, 36th Rep. D. K., p. 63. 

2261-1 N 


Slieve Lugha, for the service of ten knights and 
the annual rent of 100 marks. 1 This grant was 
in substitution for a previous inoperative grant of 
ten cantreds given by William de Burgh to the 
same grantee about the beginning of the century.* 
It included rather more than the present county 
of Sligo less the barony of Tirerril. Hugh de 
Lacy, however, died in 1243. His last years were 
much occupied by affairs in Ulster, and he seems 
to have at once parted with most of his Con naught 
lands. He formed, indeed, a manor at Meelick in 
the south-eastern portion of the barony of Gallen, 
included at this time in Luigne. 3 This manor was 
assigned to his widow Emeline as her dower out of 
her lord's five cantreds, and was by her given to 
the second Richard de Burgh in exchange for 
his Munster manor of Tristelaurent, now Inch 
St. Lawrence in County Limerick. 4 

Of these cantreds Hugh de Lacy soon granted 

1 Gormanston Register, f. 189, where the cantreds appear 
as ' Korn, Karbridrumclef, Tirfichre Omoly, Lune, and 
Clefluuethe', and the witnesses are Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
then justiciar, Walter de Kidelisford, Gerald de Prender- 
gast, Peter de Bermingham, and Matthew Fitz [Griffin], all 
of whom probably accompanied Richard and Hugh on this 
campaign and were directly or indirectly rewarded. 

2 Ante, vol. ii, p. 156 note, and cf. p. 187 note. 

3 The northern part of Gallen, called Coolcarney (Cuil Cer- 
nadlia), was included in Tir Fhiachrach, but Meelick (Milic) 
and even Athlethan were in Luighne in the larger sense of 
that denomination. Luighne, indeed, was an alias for the 
diocese of Achonry, which included the parishes of Leyney, 
Corran, Gallen, and part of Costello : Ann. Loch Ce, vol. i. 
pp. 279, 355. In the inquisition of 1333 I take ' the half 
cantred of Lowyn ' in which was ' Adlayn' (Ath lethan) as 
standing for Luighne, not Sliabh Lugha as supposed by 
Mr. Knox : Journ. R. S. A. I., 1902, p. 398. The barony of 
Gallen was ultimately formed out of the Mac Jordan de 
Exeter lands. 

4 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 3006. 


Carbury 1 and the northern half of Luighne 2 (as Sub-grant 
well as his claims as Earl of Ulster on Tirconnell 3 ) f f Car " 
to Maurice Fitz Gerald. This was the nucleus & c . y 'to 
of the Geraldine manor of Sligo, but it was after- Maurice 
wards, as we shall see, increased in two directions, ^raid. 
Maurice obtained from Jordan of Exeter a moiety 
of the southern half-cantred of Luighne, which 
with the northern half-cantred made up the 
present barony of Leyney, and his son and 
successor in Connaught, Maurice Fitz Maurice, 
acquired the cantred of Corran, which was 
originally granted to Gerald de Prendergast. 
Thus the Geraldine manor of Sligo included 
approximately the present baronies of Carbury, 
Leyney, and Corran. In 1238 Maurice Fitz 
Gerald, then justiciar, and Hugh de Lacy dethroned 
Donnell McLoughlin, king of the Cinel Owen, 
and set up Brian O'Neill in his place, and in the 
next year Maurice plundered Carbury, which at 
this period was subject to O'Donnell. At Sligo 
Maurice built a castle in 1245, and here, in 1253, 
he founded a Dominican Friary. 4 In 1244 he 
obtained a grant of free chase and warren in 

1 Red Book of the Earl of Kildare, f. xd: 'cantredum Carebri 
Drumclef . . . faciendo servicium duorum militumet reddendo 
viginti marcas . . . et unum accipitrem sorum.' 

2 Ibid. f. vi : ' dimidium cantredum de Luyne, illam \sic] 
videlicet que iacet versus aquilonem proxima de Esdaro 
(Ballysadare) . . . faciendo servicium unius militis et red- 
dendo decern marcas argenti.' The kingdom of Luighne 
appears to have been co-extensive with the diocese of 
Achonry, and included, besides the barony of Leyney, the 
greater part of Gallen and the northern part (Sliabh Lugha) 
of Costello. 

8 Ibid. f. v d : ' Tyrconyll per rectas metas divisas inter 
Keneleon et Tyrconyll . . . faciendo servicium quatuor mili- 
tum pro omni servicio.' 

4 For the above events see Ann. Loch Ce, sub annis. 

N 2 


' Luyne ' (Leyney a ), and probably about this time 
built the castles of Banada and Ardcree. 2 Before 
his death in 1257 Maurice enfeoffed his second 
son Maurice in all his land of Carbury, with the 
castle of Sligo as well as with his lands of 
Tirconnell and Fermanagh. 3 Maurice Fitz Maurice 
gave Banada to his younger brother Thomas, 4 
father of John Fitz Thomas of Offaly. 

After the death of Maurice, son of Maurice 
Fitz Gerald, in 1286, Maurice's lands were par- 
titioned between his daughters Juliana, wife of 
Thomas de Clare, and Amabil. The latter gave 
her share to her cousin John Fitz Thomas, after- 
wards first earl of Kildare. 5 In settlement of the 

1 Cal Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2680. 

2 Under the year 1265 the Annals of Loch Ce record the 
destruction by Aedh O'Conor of the castles of Benn-fliada 
(Banada) and Rath-aird-craibhe (Ardcree in Kilvarnet parish), 
as well as of the castle of Sligo. They were all, no doubt, 
rebuilt — that of Sligo in 1269, and again by Earl Richard in 

3 Red Book, f. viii. See the essential parts of this deed 
(which has been misinterpreted) transcribed in my paper on 
' the Fitz Geralds, barons of Offaly ', in Journal R. S. A. I. , 
vol. xliv (1914), p. 107 (where 'pro quiet' clam' quam [sic],' 
&c, should have been expanded into ' pro quieta clamacione 
quam,' &c). 

4 Ibid. f. xxii : ' Ego Mauricius fUius Mauricii dedi, &c. 
Thome filio Mauricii fratri meo totam terram meam de 
Bennede in cantredo de Lune cum castro et omnibus perti- 
nentiis excepto castro de Rathardkreth cum tribus villatis 
terre ad dictum castrum pertinentibus viz. Rathardkrath 
Rouelan et Clarath et excepto dominio Roberti de Prendir- 
gast habend' &c. adeo plenius prout dominus Mauritius Alius 
Geraldi pater meus illam terram cum castro . . . tenuit . . . 
et mihi dedit Reddendo unum ostorium sorum . . . et faciendo 
sectam ad curiam meam de Rathardkreth,' &c. 

5 See the several deeds mentioned in the Red Book from 
Amabil to John, son of Thomas, H. M. C, 9th Rep., pt. 2, 
pp. 266-7. In the partition most of the Connaught lands 
seem to have been assigned to Amabil. 


dispute which arose between John Fitz Thomas 
and the Eed Earl, all the lands of the former in 
Connaught seem to have been surrendered to the 
latter, 1 and in the inquisition taken on the death 
of Earl William in 1333, the manor of Sligo 
appears as belonging to the de Burghs. Its 
value before the recent disturbances was assessed 
as high as £333 6s. 8c/. 2 About this time, however, 
the O 'Haras recovered possession of Leyney. 

The southern half of the cantred of Luighne Sub- 
including the greater part of the barony of Gallen s™*" 1 °j 
(Gaile»ga))\vas apparently given by Hugh de Lacy Jordan of 
to Jordan of Exeter. 3 In 1240, however, Jordan, Exeter. 
as we have mentioned, granted a moiety of his 
half-cantred to Maurice Fitz Gerald. 4 In the other 
moiety, in what is now the barony of Gallen in 
County Mayo, Jordan formed the manor of Ath- 
lethan, now Ballylahan, where the ruins of a 
thirteenth-century castle still stand on a spur 

1 See the agreement set out in Cal. Justiciary Rolls (1299), 
pp. 235-6. 

2 Journal R. S.A. I., vol. xxxiii (1903), p. 61. 

3 In 1333 a rent of 10 marks was received from Adlayn 
(Athlethan or Ballylahan) for half the cantred of Lowyn 
(Luighne) from John of Exeter. 

4 In the Red Book, f. 62 d, is an agreement dated at Ard- 
rathan, September 10, 1240, by which Jordan agreed to give 
to Maurice ' medietatem dimidii cantredi de Luyna quod 
[sic\ dictus Iordanus tenet de comite Ultonie . . . tenend' de 
eodem Iordano in feodo per servicium unius militis per red- 
ditum centum solidorum. Et proper hoc debet predictus 
Mauricius firmare quoddam castrum ad opus Iordani in 
Winterclerekyn (perhaps = Druim ui Cleirchcin ; Four Mas- 
ters, vol. ii, p. 934, now Dromin between Athlacca and 
Uregare, Geraldine manors in Co. Limerick) de magnitudine 
et simultudine castri eiusdem Iordani quod habet in tene- 
mento de Ardrath,' &c. Jordan de Exeter held the two 
vills of ' Donncolyn and Rotbbethach ' (Dunkellin and Roeve- 
hagh in the parish of Killeely) of the Geraldine manor of 
Ardrathan : ibid., f. xvi d. 


projecting from the high ground above a ford on 
the Moy. In 1253 he was granted a fair at the 
town, 1 which is said to have been incorporated, 
and at about the same time he founded a 
Dominican Friary at Strade, 2 not far off. In 
1249, apparently when sheriff of Connaught, he 
routed a force under the sons of Aedh O'Conor 
which came to attack Athenry. He was again 
sheriff in 1258, when he was killed while 
endeavouring to arrest a piratical fleet from the 
Western Isles under ' Mac Sorley \ 3 The family 
became very numerous in Connaught, where one 
branch became known as Mac Jordan and another 
as Mac Stephen. Like the Costellos, they main- 
tained their position for upwards of three centuries, 
and in the composition of 1585 the Mac Jordan 
Dexeter of the day was assigned the castle of 
Ballylahan and eight quarters of land. 
Sub- The cantred of Corran appears to have been 

c*ran \ g ran * ec ^ ty Hugh de Lacy to Gerald de Prender- 
Gerald de gast. Gerald granted it to 'David, son of Maurice', 4 



1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 250. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1253. It is believed that the Annales 
de Monte Fernandi were written in this House. According 
to the Register of the Dominican Friary of Athenry, the 
Convent of Strade was originally founded for Franciscans, 
but was transferred to Dominicans at the instance of Basilia, 
daughter of Meiler de Bermingham, and wife of Stephen, 
son of Jordan of Exeter. 

3 Ibid., 1258, where Jordan of Exeter is called Shirtdn 
dEissetar. In Ann. Ulst., 1258, he is called Siurtan Gaileang 
from his fief. Another Jordan of Exeter was sheriff of Con- 
naught in 1269-72 : 36th Rep. D. K., p. 28. By Mac Som- 
hairle (Sorley) we must understand a descendant of Somerled. 
The person meant was probably Dugald, son of Ruaidhri, 
son of Ragnall, son of Somerled, whose daughter Aedh 
O'Conor married next year : Ann. Loch Ce, 1259, where the 
above Dugald is called Dubhgall Mac Somhairle. 

* Red Book of the Earl of Kildare, f. vii d : ' cantredum de 


in frank-marriage with Gerald's daughter Matilda. 
This David was an unnoticed son of Maurice Fitz 
Gerald, the justiciar. He died before St. Patrick's 
ay, 1249, when Matilda was still under seven 
years of age. 1 After Gerald's death in 1251 
Matilda was given in marriage to Maurice, son of 
Guy de Rochford, ' the king's groom.' 2 He died 
before May 1258, 3 and shortly afterwards his 
widow Matilda was married to Maurice Fitz 
Maurice. This marriage, unnoticed in the pedigree 
of the Fitz Geralds, is proved by a letter of the 
year 1259 from Pope Alexander IV to the Bishop 
of Cloyne, directing the bishop not to harass 
Maurice Fitz Maurice on account of the former 
contractual relations of his wife Matilda, daughter 
of Gerald de Prendergast, with his deceased 
brother David. 4 The marriage accounts for the 
possession by Maurice Fitz Maurice of the cantred 
of Corran, one-third of which descended to his 
daughter Amabil (presumably Matilda's heir), and 
was by her given along with other lands in 
Connaught to John Fitz Thomas of Offaly in 
1289. 5 From John Fitz Thomas, Corran, with 

Coron . . . duas partes scilicet dicti cantredi in dominico et 
tertiam partem in homagio et servicio . . . reddendo xx marcas 
argenti . . . et faciendo servicia duorum militum (in quibus 
xx marcis cum serviciis predictis ego et heredes mei Ricardo 
de Burgo tenemur ad redditus et servicia de predicto cantredo 
versus dominum Regem acquietando),' &c. 

' For Matilda's age see Cal. Inquis. P. M., 36 lien. Ill, 
no. 254. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 80, 84, 165. 

3 Ibid., no. 580. No. 852 is misdated, cf. no. 116. 

4 Tlieiner, Vetera Monumenta, no. ccxi. 

5 Red Book of the Earl of Kildare, f. xxiv d. The mar- 
riage also accounts for the fact that Maurice Fitz Maurice 
held for his life Gerald de Prendergast's lands at Tobernea, 
Co. Limerick, Corbyn, Co. Cork, and Killegny, Co. Wexford: 
Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iii, no. 463. 



grant of 

to Piers 
de Ber- 

the other Geraldine lands in Connaught, passed 
to Kichard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, and here at 
Bally mote in 1300 the earl built a great castle. 
The small town which grew up about the castle 
was burned, and the castle itself broken during 
the disturbances caused by the invasion of Edward 
Bruce. Probably there was no considerable settle- 
ment of the English in the district, and in 1338, 
after the murder of Earl Richard's son Edmond, 
the Irish regained control over Corran. 

Though no sub-grant of the cantred of Tireragh 
is forthcoming, there can be little doubt that 
Hugh de Lacy gave it to Piers de Bermingham. 
The whole district ' from the river Moy eastwards 
to Ballysadare Bay ' was called- ' Mac Feorais's 
country' as early as 1249, when Aedh, son of 
King Felim, broke out in rebellion and plundered 
it. 1 Here, as elsewhere, Mac Feorais was the 
Irish name for the sons or descendants of Piers 
de Bermingham, and from certain Plea Rolls of 
the time of Edward I it appears that both the 
Tethmoy and the Athenry branches of the family 
held lands here. 2 The principal castles were at 
Ardnarea and Castleconor, both on the Moy, but 
there was another at Buninna, 3 near Ballysadare 
Bay. In 1333 Tireragh appears to have consisted 
of two cantreds, 'Tyromoy ' (Tir FJiiachrach Muaidh) 
and ' Con[or]dunmor ' (Castleconor). Each paid 
twenty marks to the earl, but the tenants names 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1249. 

2 In 1297 Peter, son of James de Bermingham of Tethmoy, 
released his whole right and claim in the vill of Castleconor 
and three carucates there to Eustace le Poer, who claimed 
through a Bermingham-Poer marriage : Plea Roll, 24 Ed. I. 
In 1302 Eustace got a grant of free warren in Kenmoy and 
Castleconor: Cal. Chart. Rolls, 30 Ed. I, p. 24. 

3 Bunfinne. See Ann. Loch Ce, 1308, 1310. 



are not given. 1 The English seem to have main- 
tained themselves here until 1371, when the 
castles of Ardnarea and Castleconor were taken 
by O'Dowd, and the English that were in them 
were driven out. 2 Ardnarea, however, appears to 
have been held by the Burkes long after this. 3 

Slieve Lugha, the last of the de Lacy cantreds, Sub- 
comprised the northern part of the barony of |™ nt ° f 
Costello. The O'Garas were the native chieftains, Lugha to 
but there is no mention of any fighting with them. Milesde 
The cantred was held at his death by Miles de 
Nangle or Mac Costello. He was son of Philip, 
son of William, son of Jocelin de Nangle, first 
Baron of Navan. 4 He married a daughter of 
Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster, and it is a probable 
conjecture that Hugh gave him Slieve Lugha in 
frank-marriage with her. She died in 1253 and 
was buried in the abbey of Boyle. 5 

Miles is surnamed Bregach by MacFirbis, in- 
dicating that he came directly from Meath (Breg). 
He died in 1259. His descendants in the barony 
of Costello, the whole of which they ultimately 
obtained, were very numerous. His younger son 
Philip, who appears to have been the sheriff of 
that name of Connaught in 1277, 6 was ancestor 
of the clans Mac Jordan Duff and Mac Philip. 
The principal castle in the barony was known as 
Castlemore Costello and was very famous. There 

1 Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxiii (1903), p. 59. 

2 Four Masters, 1371. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1532-3. 

4 See the Plea Eoll, 16 Ed. II, cited supra, p. 35, note 2. 
The senior line in Meath was continued from Miles in suc- 
cessive generations, by Hugh, Jordan, and John. We have 
already mentioned the attempt of Philip de Nangle and his 
son Miles to get a foothold in County Leitrim : supra, pp. 32-5. 

5 Ann. Loch Ce, 1253. 

6 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, p. 266. 


was another at Kilcolman. 1 From their position 
on the borders of the Irish districts the Mac 
Costellos were frequently fighting with the 
O'Conors, the Mac Dermots, the O'Haras, and 
others. Yet for upwards of 300 years they 
maintained their position, and in 1586 John 
McCostello, ' captain of his nation,' having obtained 
a regrant from the Crown of numerous manors 
and lands in the barony, sold the same to his 
kinsman Tibault Dillon, 2 and what was once a 
feudal holding and then a quasi-Celtic chieftainry, 
became a modern landed estate. 
The Kerry The southern part of the barony of Costello 
districts, indeed m ost of the country of- the Ciarraighe 
(Kerry), an ancient tribe to whom was assigned 
as eponymous ancestor Ciar, son of Queen Meave, 
and the Ultonian hero Fergus MacRoig. John 
Fitz Thomas of Desmond held the lands of Kerry 
Loch-narney under Maurice de Londres, who may 
have been the first grantee. Thomas Fitz Maurice, 
grandson of John Fitz Thomas, gave the lands, 
subject to a rent of £33 3s. Sd., to Henry de 
Roche in exchange for the manor of Mallow. :! 
These lands were about Lough Mannin, where, on 
a small peninsula, there are some remarkable 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1270. 

2 Fiants, Elizabeth, nos. 4898, 4902. For the sale to 
Dillon see Ann. Loch Ce, vol. ii, p. 477 (anno 1586), and 
O'Flaherty's West Connaught (Hardiman), p. 339. 

3 Inquisition on the lands of John Fitz Thomas (1282) : 
Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, p. 429. See, too, Inquisition after the 
death of Thomas Fitz Maurice (1298) : ibid., vol. iv, pp. 258, 
340. Maurice de Londres held the manor of Eoscarlan 
(Rosegarland) in County Wexford from the Marshals: see 
Chart. St. Mary's Dub., vol. ii, p. 155. He probably sprang 
from the family that owned Kidwelly Castle in Carmarthen- 
shire, and he may have been related to Henry de Londres, 
archbishop of Dublin. 


earthworks and a small round keep resembling, 
on a smaller scale, the keep of Shanid, and seeming 
to date from the thirteenth century. 1 There is a 
tradition that the monastery at Ballyhaunis was 
founded on the site of a de Barry manor-house, 2 
and archaeological evidence indicates that the site 
had been fortified by the Normans. There is a 
roughly rectangular mote at Annagh, not far from 
Ballyhaunis, recalling some examples in the east 
of Ireland, and indeed what appear to be minor 
Norman earthworks abound in this part of Con- 
naught. 3 At a later period we find the Mac Jordans 
(Duff), a branch of the McCostellos, in this district 
as well as in Kerry Oughter or Upper Kerry 
(parishes of Aghamore and Knock), and members 
of this family founded a house for Austin Hermits 
at Ballyhaunis and one for Dominicans at Urlare. 

South of these Kerry districts, in the parishes Sil Mael- 
of Kiltullagh and part of Kilkeevin, was the cantred 
of Sil Maelruain, of which the O'Flynns were 
chiefs. The death of * Piers Kistubhard, lord of 
Sil Maelruain, a noble baron', is recorded in 1254, 4 
but his identity is uncertain. He may have been 
a Rochford, as in 1272-80 the fourth part of 
a cantred in ' Silmorne ' (Sil Maelruain ?) was held 

1 For plan and description see Journ. Gal way Arch. Soc. 
(1902), vol. vii, p. 115. Lough Glinn Castle, in the adjoining 
parish of County Roscommon, is also said to have been built 
by the Geraldines : Hib. Dominicana, p. 311. 

2 Hy Fiachrach, p. 161, note. 

3 Some Connacht Raths and Motes (H. T. Knox), Journ. 
R. S. A. I., vol. xli (1911), p. 301 et seq. 

4 Ann. Loch Ce, 1254. The name Ristubhard is taken by 
the editor to refer to de Ridelisford, as in 1235 ' Ualdar 
Ritabhard, high baron of Leinster', clearly refers to Walter 
de Ridelisford, but there is nothing to connect his family 
with the district. Perhaps the entry is a blundered double 
of the preceding obit of 'Piers Pramister' (Bermingham). 




by Henry de Eochford. 1 There is a mote called 
Sheeaunbeg in the townland of Barrinagh (parish 
of Kiltullagh) which seems to belong to the early 
Norman period, 2 but the O'Flynns were always 
energetic fighters, and probably no strong settle- 
ment was formed here. A strong castle was, 
however, built in the neighbouring parish of 
Tober- Toberbride, now Ballintober, County Eoscommon. 
Curiously enough nothing is known about its 
origin, but in the inquisition of 1333 it is grouped 
with the cantred of Sil Maelruain and is described 
as ' an old castle surrounded by a stone wall, 
which would be very useful for keeping the peace ' 
if repaired and garrisoned. Here there were three 
hundred acres of arable land under the lord's 
plough, a hundred-court, water-mills, burgages at 
Toberbride and Eathfernan, and many free 
holdings, all formerly valued at £84 per annum, 
but then, owing to the recent disturbances, at 
£10 only. 3 It had evidently been an important 
seignorial manor. In 1305 Earl Eichard sought 
and obtained the king's licence to found and 
endow a chantry there and at Loughrea notwith- 
standing the statute of Mortmain. The jurors in 
recommending the proposal said that ' it would be 
of great advantage, if for no other reason, for the 
teaching of children in those parts where learning 
was too scarce'. 4 The remains of the castle of 
Ballintober are Edwardian in plan — a quadrangle 
with polygonal towers at the corners and gateway 
towers, all surrounded by a wet ditch — and 

1 Irish Pipe Boll, 36th Eep. D. K., p. 63. Henry de 
Rochf'ord was sheriff of Connaught in 1280 : ibid., p. 56. 

2 For plan and description see Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xli 
(1911), pp. 307-9. 

3 Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxiii (1903), pp. 59-60. 

4 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. v, nos. 436, 510. 


indicate great strength. 1 The original building 
may with probability be referred to about the last 
quarter of the thirteenth century. It was well 
situated to overawe the O'Conor kings. The 
town was burned in 1315, but seemingly not the 
castle. In 1362 we first hear of an O'Conor 
taking possession of it. 2 It remained generally in 
their hands, and after many vicissitudes the castle 
was restored and occupied by the O'Conor Don in 
the sixteenth century. 

It is a probable conjecture that the castle was 
held by William 'Liath' de Burgh, the powerful 
cousin of Earl Richard ; that after his death in 
1324 it was held by his son Walter ; and that on 
Walter's forfeiture and death in prison in 1332 it 
came into the hands of Earl William. The 
ownership by William ' Liath ' of this strong 
castle so near the Sil Murray fits in remarkably 
well with his action in 1309-10 in reference to 
the kings of Connaught, and also with his son 
Walter's doings in 1328-31. 3 

Sligo was not the only manor of Maurice Fitz 
Gerald in Connaught. He also obtained extensive 
grants in the counties of Galway and Mayo. For Terri- 
his assistance in the campaign of 1235 Richard de j£" es ol 
Burgh rewarded him out of the territory of and ' 
O'Heyne in parts of the baronies of Dunkellin and Q'ShaugL- 
Kil tartan, County Galway. 4 Here the manorial nebS;y ' 

1 See Journal K. S. A. I. (1889), pp. 24-30, for plan and 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1362. 3 See infra, vol. iv, c. 38. 

4 Eed Book, f. vi, where the grant is transcribed. The 
parcels are ' duo cantreda terre de Oi'echerath \ui Fiachrach 
(Aidhne)] sicut Rothy Ohethyn [Kuaidhri O'h-Eidhin] ea . . . 
tenuit salvo et in manu mea retento cant redo de Kenoloth ' 
[Cenel Aodha, ' O'Shaughnessy's country'] to be held by 
the service of four knights and the rent of 40 marks. 
Among the witnesses are Hugh de Lacy, Walter de Ridelis- 


Ardrahan centres were at Ardrahan and Kilcolgan, and here 
colffan m 1241 Maurice obtained a grant of free warren 
in his demesne lands and of a market and fair at 
Kilcolgan. 1 From an interesting agreement tran- 
scribed in the Red Book it appears that at first 
' half the cantred of Ogehethie ' was granted to 
Eoghan O'Heyne, but that on May 26, 1252, at 
Clare, in the presence of Florence Mac Floinn, 
archbishop of Tuam, and others, O'Heyne surren- 
dered the half-cantred to Maurice saving the 
tenures of his feoffees, viz. • Conor O'Heyne, 
Master Maurice, Thomas Malet, and Nesta, daughter 
of Thomas, son of Robert. In consideration of 
this surrender Maurice granted to O'Heyne ' the 
villata of Tillog and Punchedath in the tenement 
of Ardrahan ' with eight cows and forty marks of 
'old Flemish money'. 2 The O'Heynes and 
O'Shaughnessys assisted Richard de Burgh more 
than once, accepted their subordinate position, 
and were left in possession of parts of their 
territories. Small thriving towns grew up about 
the castles of Ardrahan and Kilcolgan. In 1289, 
after the death of Maurice, son of Maurice Fitz- 
Gerald, the lands were partitioned between his 
daughters Juliana, wife of Thomas de Clare, and 
Amabil, the former getting Ardrahan and the 

ford, Gerald de Prendergast, Mathew Fitz Griffin, Richard 
de Tuit, Peter de Bermingham, Nicholas Power, John de 
Cogan and others — pointing to the year 1235. This was 
the only land held by Maurice Fitz Gerald directly of the 
de Burghs. The two cantreds were, seemingly, Coill ua 
bh-Fiachrach and Oga Betlira. 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2550, and Red Book, f. ii. 

2 Red Book, f. xix. Eoghan O'hEidhin died next year ; 
Ann. Loch Ce, 1253. ' Ogehethie': Oga Betlira, a territory 
in the northern part of Aidhne ; Hy Fiachrach, pp. 53, 63. 
4 Tillog' : Tul oighre ? ' hill of the heir' (Joyce, vol. iii), Tulleyre 
(Fiants Eliz., 5808), now Tullira in parish of Ardrahan. 


latter Kilcolgan. The demesne lands of the 
undivided manors were valued at £49 6s. 8d., and 
the rents of freeholders at £33 12s. 0\cl. The 
burgesses of Ardrahan paid a rent of £4 Is. Qd. 
for their burgage land, and those of Kilcolgan 
£7 6s. Sd. 1 Another inquisition taken in 1321, 
after the death of Thomas, son of Richard de Clare 
(younger brother of the first Thomas), shows that 
the lands of Ardrahan were then worth a little 
over £40. 2 

The lands of Maurice Fitz Gerald in Mayo were Barony of 
mainly in the barony of Kilmaine, south of the Kllmalne - 
river Robe. 3 He obtained them not directly from 
Richard de Burgh, but partly from Gerald de la 
Roche 4 and partly from Raymond, brother and 
heir of Mathew Fitz Griffin. 5 Here he formed the 

1 Red Book, if. xvi-xviii, where full details are given, 
including tenants' names, denominations of lands, and 
tenures. The lands held of the manors extended beyond 
the present parishes of Ardrahan and Kilcolgan. 

* For an abstract of this inquisition and plan of the 
earthworks about the castle see Galway Arch. Journal, 
vol. vii, pp. 73-83. In the Red Book, ff. vii and xiii, there 
are two grants from Conor [Mac Murray], bishop of Kilmac- 
duagh (d. 1247), to Maurice Fitz Gerald of lands near the 
vill of Kilcolgan in exchange for other lands. Since this 
chapter was written, fidl abstracts of my transcripts (from 
the Red Book of the Earl of Kildare) of all the above- 
mentioned documents relating to Kilcolgan and Ardrahan 
have been edited and annotated by Mr. H. T. Knox : ibid., 
vol. ix, pp. 129-77. 

3 The Robe was the boundary between the territory of 
Conmaicne-Ciiile and that of Cera. 

4 The parcels in Gerald's grant are 'dimidium cantredi de 
Conmacnekuly unacum redditu quinque marcarum quas 
Ricardus Cosin michi reddere consuevit annuatim de terra 
quam de me tenuit in Tirnathyn '. (To be dated before 1246) ; 
Red Book, f. vi d. Tir nechtain was in the Prendergast 
district of Clanmorris (Inquis. 1333). 

5 The parcels in Raymond's grant are castrum de Struther 



Lough manor of Lough Mask, built a castle, 1 and in 1244 
received a grant of free chase and warren. 2 The 
principal towns were at Ballinrobe and Shrule. 
The manors of Lough Mask and Dunmougherne 
were ceded along with his other Connaught lands 
by John Fitz Thomas to Earl Eichard in 1299, 3 and 
the manors of Lough Mask and Shrule were 
among those granted by the earl in 1308 to his 
son John and Elizabeth de Clare. 4 

(Sruthair, Shrule) cum dimidio cantredi terre ibidem ; Red 
Book, f. xviii d. 

1 Lough Mask Castle was probably one of those built in 
1238, Ann. Loch Ce. It was certainly in existence in 1264, 
when it, along with the castle of Ardrahan, was seized by 
Walter de Burgh in consequence of his dispute with Maurice 
Fitz Maurice (ibid.. 1264); see infra, p. 241. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2680. 

3 Cal. Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, pp. 235-6. The name 
Dunmougherne appears to be obsolete. It is the Dun- 
mughorn of Ann. Loch Ce and Four Masters, 1133, where it 
is mentioned as having been demolished with Dunmore, from 
which it was evidently not far distant O'Donovan there 
confuses it with Diinmiidhord or Dunmuighdhord, now 
Doon near Westport. mentioned in the same annals in 1235. 
But in the anglicized form ' Dunmochern ' it was one of 
the lands granted by Amabil to John Fitz Thomas (Red 
Book, f. 26 d, not ' Dannocharne' as in Index, 9th Rep. 
H. M. C, p. 267a), and as 'Dunmougherne' it is the name 
■ >f the Geraldine manor surrendered by John Fitz Thomas to 
Earl Richard. In Historia et Genealogia Familiae de Burgo 
it appears as ' the bally of Dunmuirne ', where it is mentioned 
with places in the parishes of Kilmainemore and Kilmainebeg 
(Knox, History of Mayo, p. 353). The remains of the dun 
should be sought in this neighbourhood. Perhaps it is the 
place now called Roundfort : see Journal R. S. A. I., 
vol. xxxi (1901), p. 32, where, however, Mr. Knox treats the 
name incorrectly, having only the faulty form, 'Danno- 
charne ', before him. 

4 Cal. Close Rolls, Ed. Ill, vol. ix, p. 442, and Ir. Pipe 
Roll, 43rd Rep. D. K., pp. 22, 24. Hence these manors do 
not appear in the inquisitions of 1333, being still in the 
hands of Elizabeth de Clare. 



The barony of Clanmorris in County Mayo Clan- 
takes its name from a Maurice whose descendants ^, om ® 
were called by the Irish Clann Muiris na m-Brigh, gas t). 
i. e. Clan Maurice of Brees Castle in this barony. 
The doubt whether the Mac Maurices of Brees 
were Fitz Geralds or Prendergasts is of old 
standing, 1 but it seems certain that they were 
Prendergasts, though the exact line of descent of 
this branch of the family is obscure. In 1335 the 
family is called in the Annals of Loch Ce ' Clan 
Maurice Sugach (or ' the Merry ') son of Gerald ', 
and as Gerald de Prendergast, who died in 1251, 
is called in the same annals Gerald ' Sugach ', 3 
we might infer from this alone that the Clan 
Maurice of Brees were Prendergasts. This in- 
ference is confirmed by the inquisition of 1333, 
which found that the cantred of Crigfertur (Crich 
fer tire , now the barony of Clanmorris) was then 
held immediately of the earl by William de 
Prendergast and the heir of John de Prender- 
gast. 4 

How, precisely, these Prendergasts of Clanmorris 
were related — as they presumably were — to Gerald 

1 See the Composition of 1685 : ' Mac Morys, otherwise 
surnamed Fitz Gerald or Prendergaste ' : West Connaught 
(Hardiman), p. 336. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1335 ; cf. Ann. Ulst. and Four Masters. 
All the editors assume that Fitz Geralds were intended. 
The editor of the Annals of Ulster departs from his text, 
following the ignorant translator of the Annals of Clon- 
macnois, where the only true word is ' falsam ', probably an 
intelligent comment which has crept into the text. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1251, where the editor supposes that 
some unknown Fitz Gerald is intended. 

4 Journal E. S. A. I., vol. xxxii (1902), p. 397. If further 
proof of identity is needed see Ann. Loch Ce and Ann. Ulst. 
1300, where ' Seonin Oc Mac Muiris 'and ' loan Prendarcass ' 
evidently denote the same John Prendergast, there being 
a double entry of his death. 

22511 O 


de Prendergast is a more difficult question to 
answer. Gerald, as we have seen, left no male 
issue. His heirs were his two daughters or their 
representatives, and at his death he seems to have 
held no land in Connaught. He had parted with 
the cantred of Corran, given to him presumably 
by Hugh de Lacy, but it would be very strange 
if he had not also been rewarded for his assistance 
in the conquest by Eichard de Burgh, whose 
daughter he married as his second wife in or 
before 1240. It seems highly probable that he 
was given the cantred of Crich fer tire (or Clan- 
morris, as it came to be called) by Richard de 
Burgh. Gerald, however, was a large landholder 
in the counties of Cork, Limerick, and Wexford, 
where several of his kinsmen held knights' fees 
under him, and as in the case of the cantred of 
Corran he probably parted with Crich fer tire in 
his lifetime to one or more of his kinsmen. 
A Maurice de Prendergast was one of the witnesses 
to Gerald's grant of Corran, and he held half a 
knight's fee from him in Ballacha (near Charleville, 
Co. Cork). 1 He may have been a brother 2 of 
Gerald and eponym of the County Mayo family, 
but it is also possible that Maurice de Prender- 
gast, ' the first conqueror ', was eponym of the 
whole clan. 2 

The castle of Brees was strongly situated on 
a hill (&n, an old word meaning tulacli or hill). 
Some tumbled ruins of it remain. It continued 
for many centuries to be the chief centre of the 

1 Red Book, f. vi, and Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, p. 477. 

2 If we can trust implicitly Annals of Loch Ce, 1335, 
where the family is called Clann Muiris t-sucaigh mic Gerailt, 
the eponymous Maurice was a son (presumably illegitimate) 
of Gerald de Prendergast. Mac Gerailt has been rendered 
Fitz Gerald as a surname ; hence the confusion. 


Mac Morrises of Mayo, and here in 1585, ' Richard 
Mac Moryse of the Bryse, chiefe of his name,' still 
had his seat when he entered into the composition 
with Sir John Perrot. 1 

Piers de Bermingham, head of the family of Dunmore 
Tethmoy in Offaly, was presumably the first ( Bermin g- 
grantee of the barony of Dunmore in County 
Galway. He witnessed several Connaught char- 
ters, both of Richard de Burgh and of Hugh de 
Lacy, 2 and no doubt took part in the expedition 
of 1235. He was given the custody of part of 
Richard de Burgh's Connaught lands, and of all 
the lands of his son Richard, at their respective 
deaths. 3 He died in 1254, when he is called by 
the Irish annalist, * Piers Pramister, lord of the 
Conmaicne of Dunmore \ 4 The senior line of his 
descendants, however, though retaining the lord- 
ship of Dunmore, was connected with Offaly 
rather than with Connaught. His grandson, 
Peter, son of James, whom we shall have occasion 
to mention again, was a famous warrior and joined 
in some of the expeditions of Edward I from 1294 
to 1301. He fought also against the O'Conors in 
Offaly, and at his death in 1308 is described as 
' nobilis debellator Hibernicorum '. His son and 
heir, John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, was 
even more famous as the conqueror of Edward 
Bruce. At his death in 1329 he held the manor 
of Dunmore in Connaught as well as Tethmoy in 
Offaly. 5 He left three daughters as coheiresses, 

1 West-Connaught (Hardiman), pp. 331, 336, and cf. 
Fiants, Eliz., no. 4669. 

2 Red Book and Gormanston Register. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 2908, 2975. 

4 Ann. Loch Ce, 1254. 

6 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 8 Ed. Ill, 44th Rep. D. K., 
pp. 32, 37, 38. 

O 2 


the eldest of whom was married to Eustace le 
Poer. 1 

The castle of Dunmore is situated on an arti- 
ficially shaped mound, presumably the site of the 
Irish dun. A small town soon grew up beside it 
and was enclosed with walls in 1280. 2 
Athenry Meiler de Bermingham is the first that can be 
ham) mng " definitely connected with Athenry, where he is 
said to have founded the Dominican Friary in 

1241. 3 He was granted a fair at Athenry in 

1244. 4 and the town with its castle soon became 
of importance. In 1249 Turlough, son of Aedh 
O'Conor, who had been made king by the justiciar 
in place of Felim, led a hosting to Athenry to 
plunder it, but his forces were routed by Jordan 
of Exeter, sheriff of Connaught, and his ' terrible 
mail-clad cavalry \ 5 Meiler de Bermingham mar- 
ried Basilia, daughter of William of Worcester, 
who brought him some lands in County Tip- 
perary, and there was a long litigation, originat- 
ing between him and William de Prendergast, 
about some of them. 6 He is stated in the Register 
of the Convent of Athenry to have died in 1252, 
but the pleadings in the above litigation show that 

1 Cf. Clyn's Annals, 1331. 

2 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 8 Ed. I, 36th Rep. D. K., p. 47. For 
a description of the castle-mound and remains of the castle, 
see Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xli (1911), p. 305. 

3 A late compilation known as Registrum Monasterii 
Fratrum Predicatorum de Athenry gives many particulars 
about the benefactors of this Friary, but it cannot be im- 
plicitly trusted. The existing ruins of the church are of 
various dates. Some early lancet windows in the chancel 
probably belong to the original building. For a full descrip- 
tion see Prof. Macalister's paper in Journal R. S. A. I., 
vol. xliii (1913), pp. 197-222. 

4 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2674. 

5 Ann. Loch Ce, 1249. 

6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1163. 


he was living in 1264. He was succeeded in 
Athenry by his son Peter. His son William 
was Archbishop of Tuam from 1289 to 1311. In 
1316 Athenry was the scene of the crushing de- 
feat of the Irish of Connaught, who had seized the 
opportunity of Bruce's invasion to rise against the 
English. Richard de Bermingham, grandson of 
Meiler, led the victorious army. Richard died in 
1322. In 1333 the half-cantred of Clantayg (in- 
cluding Athenry) was held in fee by the heir of 
Richard de Bermingham. 1 This was his son 
Thomas, who seems to have been still a minor. 

Walter de Ridelisford, successor and presumably 
son of Strongbow's vassal of the same name in 
South Kildare, obtained the northern part of the 
barony of Clare, County Galway. This was the 
territory known as Muinter Murchadha, the tribe- 
name of the O'Flahertys, where a castle, pre- 
sumably at Headfort, was built as early as 1238. 
Some arrangement must have been made with the 
O'Flahertys, who were not expelled until 1273. 
Here were formed the manors of Athmekin, or 
Headford,^ and Corrofin. Walter died about Headford 
1240, leaving as his heirs his daughter Emeline, corrofin 
widow of Hugh de Lacy and wife of Stephen (Rideiis^ 
Longespee, and his infant granddaughter, Chris- fort1 )- 
tiana de Mariscis. 3 To Emeline was assigned 

1 Journal R. S. A. L, vol. xxxii (1902), p. 396. For further 
details touching the early Bermingham Pedigree see my 
' Notes ' in Journal, Galway Arch, and Hist. Soc, vol. ix, 
pp. 195-205. 

2 The name appears as Ath-mac-Cing in the Circuit of 
Muircheartach Mac Neill, 1. 143, and as Ath-cind and Ath-mic- 
Cind in an ancient treatise on ' O'Flaherty's Country ' (tran- 
scribed in West Connaught, p. 371). Headford is an 
attempted translation of the Irish name. 

3 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 2730. Christiana's father was 
Robert de Mariscis. 


Corrofin, 1 and to Christiana, Athmekin. Christiana 
afterwards granted all her lands to the king, and 
from the Extent taken in 1281 it appears that the 
lands about Athmekin were then well colonized, 
and that the issues of the manor amounted to 
£73 lis. 4:d. 2 The manor of Corrofin descended 
to Emeline's daughter Emeline and her husband 
Maurice, son of Maurice Fitz Gerald. 3 

John de Cogan, head of the family in County 
Cork, took part in the Connaught campaign of 
1235 and obtained the southern part of the barony 
of Clare. In 1252 he was granted a market and 
Glare- fair at his manor of Clare in Gal way as well as at 
(de Way Castle Mora in Desmond. 4 He married one of 
Cogan\ the daughters and- heiresses of Gerald de Prender- 
gast, and his son John inherited one half of 
Gerald's lands. In 1290 his grandson, John de 
Cogan, founded a Franciscan Friary at Clare- 
Gal way, the beautiful ruins of which in the early 
pointed style of the thirteenth century still exist. 5 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 112. This Corrofin de- 
scended to Emeline's daughter of the same name, wife of 
Maurice Fitz Maurice, and from her to her daughter Juliana, 
wife of Thomas de Clare. It has been confounded with 
Corrofin in Co. Clare. 

2 Ibid., vol. ii, nos. 1801, 2840, where with the help of 
the above-mentioned treatise on ' O'Flaherty's Country ' 
most of the names can be identified. In 1295 the manor 
was committed to a Walter de Ridelisford to farm, and the 
issues were upwards of £60 a year : 38th Rep. D. K., 
pp. 69, 95. 

3 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 1249 ; vol. iii, no. 463. 

4 Cal. Charter Rolls, vol. i, p. 412 ; cf. Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
vol. ii, no. 121 (no. 853, ibid., is misdated, and should be 
assigned to the same date as no. 121). For the castle of 
Mora in Desmond see ante, p. 1 J 8, note 2. 

i For description and drawings see Journal R. S. A. I., 
vol. xxxi (1901), pp. 324-32. There were three successive 
Johns de Cogan. The first was son of Richard de Cogan 
(Milo's brother '?) : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, p. 44 ; the 


De Cogans also held from an early period some 
lands in the baronies of Leitrim and Longford, 
County Galway, where the patronage of the 
churches of Portumna, Lickmolassy, and Muinter 
Maelfinnain were given before 1254 by William 
de Cogan to the Abbey of Dunbrody. 1 

Adam de Staunton, lord of Moone in County Cana 
Kildare, 2 obtained the cantred of Cera, i.e. the ( Sfc ^ u - 
southern part of the present barony of Carra, 
County Mayo, and that part of the barony of 
Kilmaine which lies north of the river Robe. In 
1247 we read of ' Clan Adam (Staunton) and the 
English of Cera \ The names Castlecarra and Bur- 
riscarra indicate the thirteenth century manorial 
centre. Adam, son of Philip, son of Adam de 
Staunton, died in 1300 without male heirs, and 
his lands in Connaught, Leinster, and Wales were 
partitioned among his five daughters. 3 In 1312 

second was born in 1243, ibid., vol. i, p. 477, and married 
Juliana, daughter of Gerald, son of Maurice Fitz Gerald, and 
died before 1276: ibid., vol. ii, no. 1279 ; the third came of 
age shortly after Feb. 22, 1281 : ibid., no. 1789. 

1 Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, pp. 119 and 
196-8 ; and cf. Pipe Roll (Ireland), 10 Ed. I, 36th Rep. D. K., 
p. 63. The lands were known as Muinter Maelfinnain, 
O'Lomain, and Cinel Feichin. ' Maysketh in Kinaleghani,' 
where John de Cogan I was also granted a fair in 1252, was 
probably a place in Cinel [Fhjeicin. 

2 Adam de Staunton of Moone was son of Miles de 
Staunton who succeeded to the lands of Thomas the Fleming, 
one of Strongbow's feoffees and was probably his son : Song 
of Dermot, 1. 3112 ; ante, vol. i, p. 385, and Register of 
St. Thomas's Abbey, Dublin, pp. 161-3 and 167. The 
family seem to have taken their name from Stainton in the 
hundred of Roose, near Haverford, whence the Prendergasts, 
Roches, and other Flemings came. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1300. For his five daughters see Justiciary 
Rolls, 1300, pp. 305-6. The marriage of Margaret, the 
youngest daughter, was sold by the king to John Wogan 
the justiciar for £60 : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, no 828. 





the Connaught lands were assigned to his daughter 
Nesta and her then husband Fromund le Brun. 1 
At his death in 1329, John de Bermingham, Earl 
of Louth, held ' the manor of Kerre ' (Carra), when 
the rents and issues were at first received by 
Bernard de Staunton, but on July 9, 1333, the 
custody of both Dunmore and Carra was given to 
Edmund, son of Earl Richard de Burgh. 2 Some 
of the Stauntons appear to have been implicated 
in the murder of this Edmund in 1338. 3 A junior 
branch of the family, said by Mac Firbis to have 
been descended from Sir Bernard Staunton, 
became known in Carra as Mac Evilly (mac in 
Wiilidh, ' son of the knight '), and at the close of 
the sixteenth century, though the Burkes held 
much of the barony, ' Myly Mc Evily chief of his 
name' was one of those who entered into the 
composition of 1585. 4 

The northern part of the barony of Carra, 
known as Clann Cuain, is believed to have been 
first granted to a de Barry, who has left his name 
in Castlebar, i. e. caislen an Bharraigh or ' the 
Barry's Castle \ 5 Before 1333, however, the free- 
holder was a de Cogan. 

The primary enfeoffment of the baronies of 
Erris and Tirawley is complicated and obscure. 
The traditional account given by Duald Mac Firbis 6 

1 Cal. Close Rolls (Ireland), 5 Ed. II, no. 37. 

2 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 8 Ed. Ill, 44th Rep. D. K., p. 37. 

3 O'Flaherty's West Connaught, p. 47. 

4 Ibid., p. 331. Bernard de Staunton, knight, was fore- 
man of the jurors at Athenry on two of the de Burgo 
inquisitions of 1333. 

5 Castle-Barry is described by Downing, c. 1680, as ' the 
most western corporation, and a very fair large bawn and two 
round towers or castles therein '. See Hy Fiachrach, p. 160, 

6 Hy Fiachrach, pp. 325-39. 


is confused and mixes up distinct events (which, 
however, can, I think, be disentangled), and trust- 
worthy records are scanty. There were rival 
claims among the settlers, founded apparently on 
inconsistent grants, and these led to disputes. 
From such facts and indications as can be gathered 
from early records and from the annals it appears 
that some time about the beginning of the 
thirteenth century, when William de Burgh was 
treating Connaught as a conquered province, he 
made a grant to Nicholas le Petit of the cantred 
of Tirawley, or the northern part of the present 
barony, including the tuath of Bredagh, 1 and 
that Nicholas afterwards enfeoffed Adam Cusack 
1 senior ' of some or all of these lands. 2 It is, 
however, improbable that there was any effective 
occupation of the lands until after the conquest by 
Eichard de Burgh. At this time, c. 1237, Richard 
de Burgh appears to have granted lands in the 
barony, including at any rate the cantred of Bac 
and Glen, or the southern part of the barony, and 
the tuath of Bredagh, to Robert, father of Richard 
de Carew of Cork, who enfeoffed William Barrett. 

1 Bredagh comprised the parish of Moygawnagh and a 
part of that of Kilfian : ibid., p. 229 n. 

2 This is stated expressly by Earl Richard in a pleading 
of the year 1300 : Plea Roll, 30 Ed. I, no. 62, m. 14 d, cited 
in Knox '8 ' Mayo ', p. 291. Nicholas le Petit was probably 
the brother, so named, of William le Petit, the elder Hugh 
de Lacy's feoffee in the cantred about Mullingar (Chart. 
St. Mary's, Dublin, vol. i, p. 69), and Adam Cusack, senior, 
was presumably the contemporary lord of Killeen in Meath 
(ibid., pp. 201-2). A grant by William de Burgo to William 
le Petit of a cantred in Connaught is entered on Pat. Roll, 
28 Eliz. (Morrin, p. 113), but it seems to have concerned 
Ciarraighe Maighe n-Ai, Clann Connmaigh(?), and Sil Mdil- 
ruain, in the present County of Roscommon. It was, no 
doubt, inoperative, but it is one of many proofs that William 
de Burgh attempted to sub-infeudate Connaught. 


Bredagh was thus the subject of inconsistent 
grants. Afterwards, apparently in the time of 
the second Kichard de Burgh, c. 1247-8, William 
Barrett ejected Adam Cusack, senior, from Bredagh, 
and when Cusack's immediate lord, Adam le Petit, 
recovered judgement, William Barrett violently- 
resisted the execution of the decree. In 1255 
there was a renewed order to give Adam le Petit 
seisin, but there is no sign that it was carried out. 1 
In 1281 a new dispute arosa between another 
William Barrett and another Adam Cusack, pre- 
sumably sons or other kinsmen of the former 
disputants. A parley between them at Moyne 
(Maighiri) near Killala ended in a fight, with the 
result that Barrett was captured and died in 
Cusack's prison. 2 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii nos. 292, 474, and Plea Eoll, 
30 Ed. I, as above. William Barrett called to warranty- 
Richard de Carew, thus showing the intermediate tenancy. 
The Petits and Cusacks were Meath-men, while the Carews 
and Barreits, though coming immediately from Co. Cork, 
were by extraction from Pembrokeshire. One William 
Barrett was called Breathnach, i. e. Cambrensis. See, too, 
Owen's ' Old Pembroke Families '. A racial difference 
perhaps accentuated the land-feud between the families. 

2 Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, pp. 227-8, and Ann. Ulst., Ann. 
Loch Ce, 1281. In the Latin annals (Laud MS., Grace, 
Dowling) Adam Cusack is expressly called 'minor' or 
4 junior '. None of these annals mention the place where 
the battle was fought, but it is given in the Historia familiae 
de Burgo as 'apud Mayn de Kilro'. MacFirbis (Hy Fiachrach, 
p. 329) speaks of the ' great battle of Maighin ' as having been 
won by William Fionn (Barrett) of Kilcommon (in Erris), 
whom he here identifies with William Mor (Barrett) na 
Maighne, and states that ' the Cusack ' fell with many of his 
people. He goes on to tell how this William then took the 
great court of Meelick near Moyne, drove out the Cusacks, 
and divided the country between his own kinsmen. He 
mentions, however, that he has more than one account before 
him. I think he tries to combine accounts relating to 
events separated by more than thirty years. In his pedigree 


The king then took into his hand the lands of 
William Barrett, both in Cork and Tirawley, and 
of Adam le Fleming in Erris, 1 and heavy fines 
were exacted from members of the Barrett factions- 
showing that they were considered in the wrong, 
and that at this time the arm of the law could 
reach the wrong-doer even in the uttermost parts 
of Connaught. In 1299 seisin in wardship of the 
lands of William Barrett was given to Richard 
de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, and the heir, a third 
William Barrett, who was born in 1280, was soon 
afterwards let into possession. At this time the 
intermediate tenancy of Maurice, son of Richard 
de Carew, was recognized, 3 but by 1333 it had 
disappeared, and 'the heirs of William Barrett' 
held Bac and Glen directly from the earl at a 
rent of twenty marks, the usual chief rent for a 

The Barretts spread far and wide in Tirawley 

of the Barretts (given in Knox's Mayo, p. 416) he starts with 
three successive Williams, viz. William Fionn of Kilcommon, 
William Mor na Maighne, and William Og — so far perhaps 
correctly. It was probably the first William who drove out 
the Cusacks, c. 1247-8, possibly killed Adam Cusack, senior, 
and divided the country among his own kinsmen ; and it 
was his son William who was defeated and killed by 
Adam Cusack, junior, at Maigliin in 1281, and was therefore, 
according to a common usage, called by subsequent writers 
William Mor na Maighne. The death of Adam Cusack is 
entered in the Annals of Ulster under the year 1287. There 
was an Adam Cusack, lord of Killeen in Meath, in 1280 : Cal. 
Gormanston Register, p. 28. 

1 Justiciary Roll, vol. i, pp. 228, 312. 

2 There are numerous entries among the Exchequer 
Receipts, 1285-97, of payments by Batin Barrett of his fine 
for having peace, and in 1292 his account stood at the sum of 
£163 185. 6(Z. : Pipe Roll (Ireland), 20 Ed. I, 37 Rep. D. K., 
p. 45. 

3 Plea Roll, 28 Ed. I, no. 47, m. 13 d. For all these 
transactions consult Knox's History of Mayo, pp. 291-2. 


and overflowed into Erris. They became divided 
into several families or clans, as Mac Wattin (Mac 
Bhaitin), descended from Batin Barrett, who ob- 
tained the great court of Meelick, Clan Andrew 
of Bac, Clan Toimin and Clan Philpin of Erris, 
and others. There were also Merricks, Lawlesses, 
Lynotts, and others. Mac Firbis gives some 
account of these and of the districts in which they 
settled, and as he came of a_ family who were 
hereditary historians of the O'Dowds, head chief- 
tains of Tirawley, his account is likely to be sub- 
stantially correct, though, as we have seen, he 
seems to err as to the precise period of the first 
settlement, and actually reverses the immediate 
result of the fracas at Moyne. 

Mac Firbis also tells the gruesome tale, im- 
mortalized by Sir Samuel Ferguson, of the blind- 
ing of the Lynotts by the Barretts, and of the 
cunning revenge of the victims. 1 The story, 
however, receives no support from the annals, and 
on the face of it was devised to account for the 
fact that in later ages the Burkes had scattered 
estates over the Barrett country. For the credit 
of the Welshmen of Tirawley we may hope that 
the story is not true. 

At the composition of 1595 Sir Richard Burke 
was to have 5s. out of every quarter of 160 
quarters of freeholders' lands in Tirawley, viz. the 
freehold lands of the Barretts, Burkes, Lynotts, 
Clanpaidyne, Cusacks, Carews, and Clandonnells. 2 
Of these, Clanpaidyne was a sept of the Barretts, 
and the Clandonnells were Scottish galloglasses. 

1 Hy Fiachrach, pp. 335-9. 

2 West Connaught, p. 335. For the rights and possession 
of Mac William Eighter in Tirawley, c. 1584, see the extracts 
from Historia Familiae de Burgo printed in Hy Fiachrach, 
pp. 455-61. 


Indeed nearly all the freeholders of County Mayo 
mentioned in the composition with Sir John Perrot 
were of other than Irish extraction. 

As to Erris still less is positively known. It Erris. 
was in 1273 that Donnell, son of Manus O'Conor 
of Clan Murtough, was expelled by the English 
from Erris, and after this, at any rate, the English 
would seem to have dominated the cantred. 
Adam le Fleming, who sided with William Barrett 
and was killed in the battle of Moyne in 1281, 
seems to have held the greater part of the cantred. 
His lands were taken into the king's hand, 1 and 
appear to have been set to farm to Jordan of 
Exeter — the same Jordan as held Affane in County 
Waterford of the Crown and Ballylahan in Mayo 
of the earl. 2 One of the tenants was John Butler, 
who held the manor of Ballycroy from Jordan by 
knight's service. 3 In 1333 the cantred was held 
of the earl by John, son of Jordan of Exeter, at 
the usual rent for a cantred, viz. twenty marks. 
But, as we have noticed, the Barretts spread from 
Tirawley over Erris, and in 1593 the Queen's 
commissioners found ' by ancient testimony and 
witnesses of great credit that the whole barony of 
Erris was and is the lawful inheritance of Edmund 
Barrett ', some of the Burkes, however, had 
' usurped upon part of it, and being traitors were 
slain in open rebellion \ 4 

Umhall, or ' the Owles ', now the baronies of Burris- 
Burrishoole and Murisk, seems to have been }£°\ e , . 

7 (Butler). 

1 Justiciary Roll, vol. i, pp. 312, 330. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, pp. 314, 374, and vol. v, 
p. 25. 

3 Knox's History of Co. Mayo, p. 298, referring to the 
Plea Rolls. In the composition of 1585, Ballycroy is said 
o belong to the Earl of Ormonde : West Connaught, 
>. 333. 

4 Cal. Pat. Roll (Morrin), 40 Eliz., pp. 503-4. 


granted to Henry le Boteler. Burrishoole, as the 
name indicates, must have been a Norman borough, 
and it was in all probability the Burglieis cinn 
trachta, 1 ' the burgage at the head of the strand ', 
which was burned in 1247 by some of the Clan 
Murtough of Munster (O'Conors) who had recently 
settled in Umhall. Next year there was a formid- 
able outbreak of the clan, and l _ the castle of Mac 
Henry [Butler] was burned by them and its 
constable taken \ 2 Jordan of Exeter (the sheriff 
of Connaught), John Butler, 3 Robin Lawless, 4 and 
others made a counter-attack, and Mac Henry, who 
was lord of Umhall — ' for it belonged to him and 
he was residing in it ' — came with a large army, 
made peace with Donnell, son of Manus O'Conor 
(head of Clan Murtough), and with his aid sup- 
pressed those who had turned against him. Twenty- 
four years later (1272) ' Henry Butler, lord of 
Umhall ', presumably the same person or his son, 
was slain by another member of Clan Murtough. 
This led to the expulsion of the clan from Umhall 
and Erris in the succeeding year. In 1833 John 
le Botiller held the cantred of ' Owyl Botiller ' of 

1 Not Burriscarra, as suggested by O'Donovan. That 
place belonged to the Stauntons. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1248. The Four Masters, in copying this 
passage, explain Mac Henry by Piers Poer (perhaps because 
this name occurs in 1249), but this is an error, as the entry of 
1272 indicates. Henry le Buttiler is mentioned in 1235 in 
a list (probably) of those who fought against Earl Richard 
Marshal. Most of them, however, are known to have been 
engaged in the Connaught campaign of 1235 or in the 
settlement that followed. The Henry of 1235 may have 
been the Henry Pincerna mentioned in 1215 : Cal. Docs. 
Irel., vol. i, no. 610. 

3 John Pincerna (Butler) witnessed grants made in Con- 
naught, c. 1235-7, by Hugh de Lacy, Richard de Burgh, and 
Gerald de Roche : Red Book. 

4 Robert Lawless held seven townlands in Owyl in 1333. 


the earl at a rent of £10, and certain townlands 
there were held by de Burghs, Robert Lawless, 
and O'Malley, apparently the Irish chieftain of 
Murrisk. The value to the earl of the whole 
cantred of Owyl was £52 13s. id. The claims of 
the Butlers were never forgotten, though they 
must have been in abeyance for a long time, and 
in the composition of 1585 Thomas, Earl of Ormond 
and Ossor}', was said to be seised of forty quarters 
of land belonging to the manor of Burrishoole, and 
the same were assigned to him free. 1 

From this survey of the primary enfeoffment of 
Connaught it will be seen that the first feoffees 
were all, or nearly all, great feudal lords who 
already held fiefs in other parts of Ireland. For 
the campaigns of 1227 and 1235, at any rate, it 
appears that the feudal host who owed royal 
service had been summoned, and Richard de 
Burgh naturally rewarded those who were most 
active in their assistance. In some cases, however, 
the barons did not personally exploit their acqui- 
sitions, but created new tenures of their lands, 
making the new tenants liable for the rents and 
services due to Richard de Burgh and reserving 
perhaps a profit rent to themselves.- In process 
of time such intermediate tenures tended to 
disappear. But in most cases the Connaught lords, 
like their overlord Richard de Burgh and his 
successors, continued for some generations at least 
to hold their new acquisitions along with their 
former fiefs. Such were the Fitz Geralds of Offaly, 
the Berminghams of Tethmoy, the Ridelisfords of 
Castledermot, the Exeters of Affane, the Stauntons 

1 West Connaught, p. 335. 

s e. g. Hugh de Lacy, Gerald de Prendergast, Maurice de 
Londres, the Fitz Griffins, and the Carews of Cork. 


of Moone, the Cogans, Barrys, and Barrets of 
County Cork, the Nangles and Cusacks of County 
Meath, &c. In this respect the settlement in 
Connaught, though paralleled to some extent by 
that in Munster, differed from the settlement in 
Ulster, where John de Courcy's followers were 
previously for the most part landless men. 





After the confiscation of Connaught, in 1227, 
none of the kings of Connaught held of the Crown 
any portion of the province outside the five 
cantreds reserved to the English king. There 
were indeed O'Conors in other districts. Some 
of the sons or other descendants of Turlough Mor, 
who was slain in 1156 and who is credited with 
a numerous progeny, had been allotted territories 
or had imposed themselves on weak clans in 
various parts of the province previous to the 
partition. Henceforward the most noteworthy of 
these were the descendants of Murtough ' of 
Munster ' and of Brian ' of Luighne', both sons of 
Turlough Mor. The former came to be known as Clan Mur- 
' Clan Murtough', and in course of time formed tou s l1 - 
a disturbing element, often at variance with their 
kinsmen of the lines of Cathal Crovderg and of 
Kory, the last ard-ri, as well as with the Anglo- 
Norman settlers. They seem to have established 
themselves in the west of County Mayo, about 
Clew Bay and in Erris, whence they were expelled 
in 1273. Soon after this, however, four of the clan 
succeeded in becoming kings of Connaught (i.e. of 
the Sil Murray districts) for brief periods. The 



clan descendants of Brian of Luighne were more 
Luniiie P eacea bly settled under the Fitz Geralds and 
afterwards under the de Burghs in the cantred of 
Carbury, County Sligo, and from this line de- 
scended the O'Conors Sligo. The king's five 
cantreds, however, or a progressively diminishing 
portion of them, were granted to the O'Conor who 
for the time being was called ' King of Connaught ', 
though he had no jurisdiction outside the lands 
held of the Crown. These he held at an agreed 
rent during good service or at the king's pleasure. 
Such was the legal position ; but at times the 
royal power was so faint that the English king 
could not exercise the pleasure which we may 
suspect he would have felt in determining the 
grant which he had made. The king's dealings 
with the cantreds reserved to him can only be 
understood in connexion with the history of the 
O'Conor kings and their varying attitudes of 
tranquillity and turbulence. 
Feiiniand In 1235, as we have mentioned, Felim paid 
Hemy ill. £9Q 13& u towards his fine for the farm of the 
five cantreds, and a rent at the rate, seemingly, of 
£400 a year. 1 At this time the king appears to 
have retained only the castle of Athlone, with 
some land in its neighbourhood, and the castle of 
Randown on the western shore of Lough Ree. 
Next year, however, the justiciar erected a castle at 
Onagh on the river Suck, and, as already noted, 2 
this and possibly the retention of some adjoining \ j - 
land was the consequence, if not the cause, of the 
justiciar's temporary quarrel with Felim. In 
1240 Felim went to the king in England, 'to 
complain to him of the Foreigners and Gael in 
Ireland, and he received great honour from the 

Supra, p. 185. 2 Supra, p. 186, note 3. 


king on this occasion and came home safely, 
joyfully and contentedly.' 1 Unfortunately we 
have no authentic account of what passed at this 
interview, for the account given by Matthew Paris 2 
does not harmonize with established facts and is 
quite untrustworthy. In 1245 another castle, 
called the castle of Suicin, was erected at or near 
Ballinasloe. 3 This was probably done with Felim's 
consent, for it was in this year that Felim joined 
the expedition under Maurice Fitz Gerald to assist 
the king in Wales. The object of this castle, as 
of that at Onagh, was presumably to keep control 
of the route between Athlone and the English 
settlements about Loughrea. 

In January 1245 the king announced to Maurice Campaign 
Fitz Gerald that David, son of Llewelyn, late ^ ™ e8 ' 
Prince of North Wales, had revolted against him, 
and besought the justiciar and the king's subjects in 
Ireland to aid him with men, money, and supplies, 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1240. 

2 Chron. Maj., vol. iv, p. 57. According to Matthew 
Paris, Felim complained of the devastation of his territory 
by John [sic] de Burgh, stated that he had paid an annual 
rent of 5,000 marks [sic] ever since King John, who subdued 
him [sic], had confirmed him in his kingdom, and besought 
the king not to suffer him to be disinherited by an ignoble 
adventurer. Thereupon Henry ordered Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
who was then present, to uproot the evil plantation made 
in those parts by Hubert de Burgh and restore Felim to his 
kingdom. Perhaps Matthew Paris confused the events of 
1232 with Felim's visit of 1240. Certainly no such order 
was executed at the latter date. 

8 Ann. Loch Ce, 1245. The parish of ' Sukyn ' in the 
diocese of Clonfert (Eccl. Tax., Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. v, 
p. 221) seems equivalent to the present parish of Creagh, in 
which Ballinasloe, east of the Suck, is situated. The manors 
of Aughrim and Suicin were evidently near each other : 
ibid., vol. iv, nos. 765, 814. O'Donovan's location of this 
castle near the head of the Suck in Co. Mayo (Four Masters, 
vol. iii, p. 315, note) must be rejected. 

P 2 


as he ' wished Ireland to share in his conquest '.* 
The expedition was delayed, but by August the 
king was at the mouth of the river Conway, forti- 
fying the castle of Gannock, as it is called in the 
English records. It was on the site of the ancient 
fortress of Dyganwy, once a royal residence, on the 
north-eastern shore of the harbour or estuary, 
within view of the Cistercian House of Abercon- 
way, which forty years later was replaced by the 
Edwardian castle. On August 29 the king wrote 
to the men of Dublin, Waterford, Drogheda, 
Limerick, Cork, and Carrickfergus, urging them to 
send immediately victuals of all kinds, of which 
his army stood in great need. 2 How great the 
need was appears from a private (uncensored) 
letter written from the camp about the close of 
September and transcribed by Matthew Paris. 3 
' We are dwelling ', the writer says, adapting the 
language of St. Paul, ' round the castle in tents, 
employed in watchings, fastings, and prayers, and 
in cold and nakedness. In watchings, through 
fear of the Welsh suddenly attacking us by night ; 
in fastings, on account of a deficiency of provisions, 
for a farthing loaf now costs five-pence ; in prayers, 
that we may return home safe and sound ; in cold 
and nakedness, because our houses are of canvas 
and we are without winter clothing.' The writer 

1 Close Eoll, 29 Hen. Ill, m. 16 dors. (p. 348). The king 
also ordered eight wooden towers (bretachiae) to be prepared 
(pp. 285, 289). David was Henry's nephew, his mother 
being Joan, illegitimate daughter of King John. 

2 Close Eoll, 29 Hen. Ill, m. 4 dors. (p. 362). Henry also 
ordered the justiciar to expend 500 marks in buying corn 
and flour to be shipped as quickly as possible, and to cause 
as many merchants as he could to come to the army with 
wine and provisions, also masons and other workmen : 

3 Chron. Maj., vol. iv, p. 481. 


goes on to give a graphic description of how 
a ship under the command of Walter Byset, 
bringing provisions from Ireland, grounded in the 
mud opposite the castle, but unfortunately on 
the Welsh side of the estuary ; and how after 
much fighting the Welsh got possession of the 
greater part of the cargo, consisting of ' sixty 
hogsheads of wine besides other much-desired and 
seasonable provisions '. 

Meanwhile Maurice Fitz Gerald had succeeded 
in raising a force of upwards of 3,000 men in 
Ireland, including in particular Felim O'Conor, 
' accompanied by a great army of the Gael V but 
they seemingly did not arrive at Gannock until 
October 20, when the season for fighting was over, 
and the king was already preparing to return. 
They landed on the Isle of Anglesea and ravaged 
the whole island. 2 On their return journey they 
put to the sword and burned all that remained 
there. Indeed the main force can have reached 
Gannock only a few days before the camp broke 
up. On October 1, Geoffrey de Turville, bishop 
of Ossory and treasurer of Ireland, paid to the 
king at Gannock the sum of £397 10s. 6d. of Irish 
treasure, 3 and on October 21 he was ordered to 
cause the 3,000 foot-soldiers who came from 
Ireland to the king's service at Gannock to have 
their pay of 2d. a day for ten days from the 20th to 
the 29th of October. 4 This was a poor recompense 
for the pains and perils of their journey, but prob- 
ably they eked out their scanty pay by the plunder 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1245. Clearly the bulk of the force was 
composed of the Irish of Connaught, but Peter de Berming- 
ham and Adam de Staunton accompanied Maurice. 

2 Chron. Maj., vol. iv, p. 486. 

3 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 29 Hen. Ill, ia. 2 (p. 461). 

4 Ibid., m. 1. 


of Anglesea. Maurice Fitz Gerald, too, was harshly 
treated. The king was angry, ostensibly because 
he arrived too late to save the expedition from 
being a failure, and on November 4, 1245, super- 
seded him as justiciar by John Fitz Geoffrey. 
Felim, however, was treated with honour by the 
king and received letters of protection until 
Henry's ' arrival in Ireland V 
Jolm Fitz- John Fitz Geoffrey, the new justiciar, was a son 
"ustidar of Geoffrey Fitz Peter, Earl of Essex, 2 who had 
1245. been for many years King John's justiciar in 
England. He was already connected with Ireland 
by his marriage with Isabel, widow of Gilbert, son 
of Walter de Lacy. Her first husband died in 
1230, and we first hear of John Fitz Geoffrey in 
Ireland in 1234, when the justiciar was ordered to 
give him and his wife seisin of the ' manor of 
Conhal ', 3 Isabel's maritagium, of which she and her 
husband had been disseised in the war of Richard 
Marshal. 4 Isabel, it seems, was a daughter of 
Matilda Marshal and Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. 5 
John Fitz Geoffrey was one of those added at the 

1 Cal. Patent Eolls, 29 Hen. Ill, m. 1 (October 21). 

2 Fine Rolls, 11 Hen. Ill, m. 5, vol. i, p. 158 (Roberts). 

3 This was probably Conall, now Old Connell in Co. 
Kildare. Meiler Fitz Henry's lands there, other than those 
with which he endowed the Priory of Conall (i. e. Great 
Connell), must have escheated at his death to Earl William 
Marshal, Isabel's grandfather. 

4 Close Roll,. 18 Hen. Ill, m. 22 (p. 430). On April 12, 
1234, the castle and honour of Ewias Lacy were restored to 
John Fitz Geoffrey and Isabel his wife as being the dower of 
the latter in the lands of her late husband : Cal. Pat. Roll, 
18 Hen. Ill, m. 15 (p. 42). 

5 Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. v, p. 371, from the Tintern 
Chronicle ; but the account given of the Bigod family from 
this chronicle is manifestly incorrect. Another corrupt 
account is printed in Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. ii, 
p. 313. 


instance of the English barons to the Privy 
Council in 1237, on the occasion of a grant to the 
king of a thirtieth of their movables, in the vain 
effort to counteract the influence of the king's 
foreign advisers, 1 and he seems always to have 
favoured the baronial cause. In this very year he 
was chosen with his brother-in-law Roger Bigod, 
Earl of Norfolk, and others, and sent to the Council 
of Lyons to protest against the papal tribute, and 
also against the oppressive proceedings of Master 
Martin, 2 a rapacious envoy of the Pope. 

No trouble occurred with Felim after his return Aedh, son 
from Wales until 1249, when his son Aedh broke of Felim, 

• rebels 

out in rebellion. At this time Peter de Berming- 1249. ' 
ham had the custody of the lands and castles of 
the second Richard de Burgh 3 during the minority 
of his brother and heir, Walter. By means of an 
ambuscade Aedh cut off a small party of mounted 
men who were going in front of Peter de Berm- 
ingham to the lately erected castle of Sligo, and 
then plundered all the Bermingham lands in 
Tireragh. He also treacherously killed ' Geroitin 
Mac Feorais ', who was probably a son of Peter de 
Bermingham. To punish Aedh, Maurice Fitz 
Gerald mustered his forces and retrieved some of 
the spoil. Felim, fearing the consequences of 
his son's outbreak, fled to O'Neill. The justiciar, 
John Fitz Geoffrey, also led an army by way of 
Athlone into Connaught and joined Maurice at 
Elphin. Together they ravaged the Sil Murray 
districts and made Turlough, son of Aedh, son of 
Cathal Crovderg, Felim's nephew, king. Turlough, 
however, was not able to restrain his kinsmen, 
the other ' sons of the kings of Connaught ', or 

1 Matt. Paris. Chron. Maj., vol. iii, p. 383. 

2 Ibid., vol. iv, pp. 420, 441. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2975. 



1 roydamnas ', who against his will attacked 
Athenry, but were badly defeated by Jordan of 
Exeter, the sheriff. Next year Felim returned 
with a force of the Cinel Owen and expelled 
Turlough, who fled to the English. The Govern- 
ment, however, in accordance with their usual 
policy, accepted the claimant who proved the 
strongest and best able to control the rest, and 
Felim was restored. 1 
Omany ^ His son's escapades cost Felim the cantred of 
Omany, in which the king now began to make 
permanent grants. Before 1253 Richard de la 
Rochelle, who was a nephew of John Fitz Geoffrey 2 
and afterwards seneschal of Prince Edward and 
justiciar of Ireland, held the manor of Aughrim 
in Omany, which with subsequent additions was 
developed into a large estate held by the service 
of seven knights and a rent of £125. 3 Another 
grantee in the same cantred was Jordan of Exeter, 
Lord of Ballylahan, who had recently defeated 
the ' roydamnas ' at Athenry. 4 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1249, 1250. 

2 In a quit-claim to the advowson of the church of Kenles 
in Fothered, Richard de la Rochelle calls John Fitz Geoffrey 
his avunculus : MS. Kilkenny Castle, dated 1264. 

3 For the grant of lands about Aughrim and subsequent 
additions see Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 35, 223, 226, 
823. (The last entry is bungled in the Calendar. ' Thoyth ' 
= tuath, i.e. the tuath of Clan Uadach.) Richard's son 
Philip found the conditions of the holding oppressive and 
petitioned for relief in 1282 : ibid., no 1986. Philip appears 
to have sold twenty- ve villates, including the manors of 
Aughrim and Suicin, to his ' cousin ' Theobald Butler IV 
(who had married a daughter of John Fitz Geoffrey) : ibid., 
vol. iv, nos. 765-7, 814. In 1305 Edmund, son of Theobald 
Butler IV, petitioned for a reduction of rent : ibid., vol. v, 
no. 198. In 1585 the Earl of Ormonde held 24 quarters 
of land in the barony of Kilconnell about Aughrim : West 
Connaught (Hardiman), p. 319. 

4 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 228. 


About this time indeed a suggestion seems to Portlier 
have been made for the confiscation of some or £° n n jjjj£ 
all of the lands of both Felim O'Conor and of posed. 
Conor O'Brien, for on May 23, 1253, when Henry 
was preparing for his expedition to Gascony, he 
wrote to say that it was not his intention to 
commit to any person the lands of the king of 
Connaught or of the king of Thomond. 1 But 
Henry's intentions were seldom consistently held 
for long. Seven weeks later he promised that ' if 
he should not wish to retain the four cantreds 
which Felim held at the king's pleasure ', Stephen 
de Longespee should have, as we would say, the 
refusal of them; 2 and on February 11, 1254, 
three days before his grant of all Ireland to his 
son Edward, Henry, when in Gascony, ignoring 
both Felim's possession and his own promise to 
Stephen, granted in fee to his Poitevin half- 
brother, Godfrey de Lusignan, 500 librates of land 
(i.e. lands worth £500 a year) in 4| cantreds in 
Connaught. 3 Lands in Connaught at the king's 
disposal could only come, if at all, out of the 
king's five cantreds, and in June 1255 the king, 
' to avoid ambiguity ', ordered that two of these 
cantreds (i. e. that selected as the best by the 
Lord Edward and that in which were the castles) 
should remain to Edward, and that of the re- 
maining three cantreds Godfrey should select 
two. There was, however, to be ' no question 
regarding the land which Felim held on lease \ 4 
But seeing that Felim appears to have held on 
lease, or at least at the king's pleasure, four of 
• these cantreds, the ambiguity was sufficiently 
glaring. The king, in fact, seems to have been 

1 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 189. 2 Ibid., no. 237. 

3 Ibid., no. 321. " Ibid., nos. 417-8. 


ordering a quart to be drawn out of a pint pot. 
Felim naturally protested, 1 and the king replied 
that no injury had been done to him by giving 
Godfrey two cantreds in Connaught, seeing that 
' some of Felim's relatives, who would not derogate 
from his right, if any, to those lands, had offered 
to the king large sums of money for the grant of 
them \ 2 This argumentum ad consanguinitatem was 
not likely to convince Felim. Afterwards Prince 
Edward waived his own claims and made a grant 
to Godfrey of the cantreds of Tirmany and 
Moylurg-Tirerril, with the homage and services of 
the existing tenants in chief in Omany. 3 Even 
this arrangement, which would have displaced 
Felim in two cantreds, was abandoned, and 
Godfrey was eventually compensated with manors 
in the Crown-lands of Louth and in England, 4 
while Felim retained the four cantreds up to his 

But Felim, though himself peaceably inclined, 

was unwilling or unable to restrain the impetuous 

spirit of his son Aedh. The latter was a warrior 

Aedh.son of the old reckless heroic mould. In 1253 and 

of Felim, subsequent years he fought with and conquered 

sii i)(i tips 

Breffny. the O'Reillys, and afterwards the O'Rourkes, of 
Breffny. As his house had lost its ancient 
domination over the greater part of Connaught, 
he thought, no doubt, to obtain compensation in 
the line of least resistance towards the east, and 
to revive the ancient claims of the kings of 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1255. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ire]., vol. ii, no. 457, July 29, 1255. 

3 Ibid., no. 478 (Nov. 9, 1255). 

4 Ibid., no. 524 (Nov. 8, 1256). For the motes at these 
manors in Louth, see Journal R. S. A. I., vol. xxxviii (1908), 
pp. 250-6, and for the finding of a remarkable thirteenth- 
century prickspur, perhaps connected with Godfrey's tenancy, 
in one of them, see ibid., vol. xl (1910), pp. 217-18. 


Connaught to the overlordship of Breffny. More- 
over the English of Meath had made settlements 
in Breffny and had built some castles there, one 
of which was at a ford on the Shannon leading 
into the O'Conor territory. 1 The O'Reillys, too, 
were inclined to be friendly with the English, 
and as recently as 1250 had joined Maurice Fitz 
Maurice in an expedition against O'Neill. In 
1256 there was fighting between the O'Reillys 
and the O'Rourkes in Breffny, in which the 
O'Reillys suffered most. But this was. only 
' a drop before the shower ' of tribulation in store 
for them. The O'Rourkes obtained the assistance 
of Aedh O'Conor, while the O'Reillys sought aid 
from Walter de Burgh and Miles de Nangle. But 
before the latter could effect a junction of forces 
with them, O'Conor and O'Rourke, on the Festival 
of the Cross (September 14), fell upon the O'Reillys 
in the plain of Moy Slecht, near Ballinamore in 
County Leitrim, and utterly routed them. In 
recounting ' the brave destructive heroic battle ' 
that was fought between them, one annalist, 
speaking of Aedh O'Conor, falls into the bombastic 
inflated style of the later shanachies, telling how 
he ' had the glowing fury of a prince, the firmness 
of a champion, and the valour of a lion on that 
day ', and how ' no one could gaze on the face of 
the arch-prince, for there were two broad-eyed 
enormous royal torches flaming and rolling in his 
head '. 2 

Notwithstanding, or perhaps in consequence of, 
this evidence of Aedh O'Conor's power and aggres- 
sive designs, the new justiciar, Alan laZuche, made 

1 At Ath-an-chip near Carrick-on-Shannon. See ante, 
p. 35. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, vol. ii, p. 413. What seems to be another 
account of the same fighting follows on p. 417. 


peace with him at Randown, and promised that 
the O'Conor territory (i.e. seemingly the four 
cantreds) should not be diminished while he was 
justiciar. 1 Next year indeed it is stated in the 
annals that a charter of the king's five cantreds 
was granted to Felim, but it may be doubted if 
this entry is quite correct, as large grants had 
already been made in Omany and were not 
resumed. Presumably the entry refers to the 
abandonment, already mentioned, of the impossible 
plan of providing for Godfrey de Lusignan out of 
the five cantreds without infringing on Felim's 

From about this time forward Aedh was virtu- 
ally king, and he became more aggressive and 
more truculent than ever. In 1257 he blinded 
two possible rivals, descendants of his uncle the 
Aedh con- late King Aedh, son of Cathal Crovderg. 2 In 1258 
federates j ie g ave hostages to Brian O'Neill, and joined in 
O'Neill, the confederacy which conferred on O'Neill the 
sovereignty of the Gael of Erin, and was evidently 
aimed at the expulsion of the English. 3 In return 
for his submission, Aedh was given the hostages 
of Breffny 'from Kells to DrumclifP. He had 
now a free hand in Breffhy, where he proceeded 
to dethrone and set up kings, without, however, 
preserving the semblance of order in that country. 
Aedh's In 1259 Aedh went to Deny to marry a 

marriage, daughter of Dugald Mac Sorley, and he brought 
home with her a band of eight-score warriors 
(ogldigh) under Alan Mac Sorley. 4 Dugald and 
Alan were seemingly sons of Rory, son of Ranald, 
son of Somerled, and represented one branch of 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, p. 421. 

2 Ibid., 1257. 

3 Ibid., 1258, and see infra, pp. 274-5. 
* Ibid., 1259. 


the family of the Lords of the Isles. 1 Donald and 
Rory, sons of Ranald, in company with Thomas 
of Galloway, plundered Derry in 1212 and 1214, 2 
and there may have been some settlement of Clan 
Ranald there. Probably Dugald was the ' Mac 
Sorley ' who led a pirate fleet in 1258 from Innsi- 
Gall, and passed round Erin westwards to Conne- 
mara, where they plundered some islands and 
a merchant vessel, and treacherously killed the 
sheriff, Jordan of Exeter, and ' other good men \ 3 
The foreign soldiery who accompanied Dugald's 
daughter formed perhaps the first band of 
Gallogldigh, or Galloglasses (as the name came to Scottish 
be written in English), to appear in Ireland. They G y^: 
were professional heavy-armed foot-soldiers, and ° ° 
their employment did much to increase the 
military power of the semi-independent Irish 
chiefs, and stiffen their resistance to absorption in 
the feudal organization. There were other inter- 
marriages between the families of Irishmen and 
the Clandonald of Scotland, 4 and in course of 
time bands of Galloglasses formed body-guards 
for many Irish chiefs, especially in the north, and 

1 See Skene's Celtic Scotland, vol. iii, pp. 293-4, and 
(ienealach Mhic Euaidri (from the Books of Ballymote and 
Lecan), ibid., p. 471, and the Appendix to this chapter. 

2 Ann. Ulst. sub annis ; and see ante, vol. ii, pp. 290-3. 

8 Ann. Loch Ce, 1258. The death of Dubhgall Mac 
Ruaidhri, king of Innsi-Gall and Airergaidhel, is recorded 
in 1268: ibid. 

* About this time Donnell Og O'Donnell, who had been 
fostered in Scotland, appears to have married a lady of 
Clandonald, and to have introduced gallogldigh into his 
household ; and they, in 1290, secured the succession of her 
son Turlough : Ann. Loch Ce, 1290. Angus Og, Lord of the 
Isles, grandson of Donald, married a daughter of Cumhaighe 
O'Cathain. His grandson Eoin Mor, 'the Tanist,' married 
Mairi Byset, and through her his descendants succeeded to 
the Glynns of Antrim. 


the Mac Donalds and other Scottish clans began to 

send offshoots to various parts of Ireland. The 

Government was not blind to the dangers likely 

to accrue from the influx of Scottish bands into 

Ireland. In February 1256 the king ordered 

his bailiffs and subjects in Ireland not to allow 

Angus Mac Donald (i.e. Angus Mor, Dugald's 

cousin), or other Scottish malefactors whose names 

the King of Scotland would communicate, to be 

received in Ireland. 1 This was the boy-king 

Alexander III, who was already married to 

Henry's daughter Margaret, and who afterwards 

succeeded in uniting the Western Isles to the 

Scottish Crown. Again, on April 29, 1260, shortly 

before the battle of Down, at which probably 

Aedh's ' foreign youths ■' fought, the justiciar was 

ordered not to permit persons from Scotland to 

be received in Ireland, and if he should find any 

such seeking confederacies with the Irish, to 

arrest and keep them in custody. 2 

Battle of In 1260 Aedh O'Conor joined Brian O'Neill in 

Pn°p^ n ' the combined attack on the English of Ulidia, 

which ended in the fatal battle of Down on 

May 14, 1260. When we come to treat of affairs 

in Ulster we shall describe in greater detail this 

formidable attempt against the growing English 

supremacy. O'Neill and many of the chief men 

of Tirowen and Connaught fell, and the hopes of 

the confederacy fell with them. Felim O'Conor 

could hardly have expected to escape implication 

in his son's action, but he seems to have thought 

that in diplomacy, at any rate, the offensive was 

the best defensive. Accordingly, soon afterwards 

he complained to the king of some losses which 

1 Cal. Pat. Roll, 40 Hen. Ill, m. 1G (p. 462). 

2 Ibid., 44 Hen. Ill, m. 3. 


Walter de Burgh had caused to him and to the 
church of Elphin in this year, and in a subsequent 
letter, to be dated about August 1261, he prayed 
the king to cause Walter to render him full 
justice, protesting that ' for no inducement offered 
to him by the Irish had he receded, or would he 
recede, from faithfully serving the king and his 
sonV But Felim may here be suspected of 
' protesting too much '. The reply of the Govern- Abortive 
ment came early in 1262 in the form of a ' pro- ^ ost i 1 n D s f 
digious hosting of the Foreigners of Erin ' against Aedh. 
Felim and Aedh. The latter drove the greater 
number of their cattle into Tirconnel, and re- 
mained to defend them and their people at 
Inisaimer, an island on the Erne near Bally- 
shannon, while Richard de la Rochelle, the 
justiciar, accompanied by John de Verdun and 
joined by Walter de Burgh, plundered what was 
left in the O'Conor territory, and marked out the 
site of a castle in Roscommon. Aedh retaliated 
by plundering and burning the English homesteads 
between Balla and Slieve Lugha, and also in the 
district between Tuam and Athlone, and 'they 
killed all the men they found between those 

1 Koyal Letters (Shirley), vol. ii, p. 199 ; Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
vol. ii, no. 713. Felim's first complaint was made when 
William de Dene was justiciar, i. e. between c. October 1260 
(ibid., no. 683) and the battle of Callann, July 27, 1261, 
when, or soon afterwards, William de Dene died. His 
subsequent letter was written soon after the latter date, 
when Richard de la Rochelle was justiciar. The Annals of 
Loch Ce, 1260, mention the hosting of Walter de Burgh 
against Felim to Roscommon, when he plundered some 
districts in Tirmany and also the people of the bishop (of 
Elphin). There was a bitter dispute going on at this 
time about the succession to the bishopric of Elphin (see 
Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, nos. 646, 650, 690, 721, and Ware's 
' Bishops '). and it is probable that Walter's action was 
concerned therewith. 


places'. Notwithstanding all this violence, the 
armed forces did not come into conflict. The 
English are said to have opened negotiations, and 
peace was concluded between the parties at 
Derryquirk near Tulsk, and Aedh and Walter de 
Burgh, we are told, ' slept in the same bed ', in 
token of amity. 1 

From the account, however, of Meiler de Roche, 
sheriff of Con naught for the period ending at 
Michaelmas 1262, it appears that Felim was 
amerced in 600 marks for himself and Aedh for 
having the peace of Lord Edward, and that he 
bound himself in a fine of 5,000 marks and 200 
cattle for getting the fee farm of three cantreds, 
namely, Moy Ai, the Three Tuaths, and Moylurg, 
at a rent of 300 marks. He was also charged 
with rent for Tirmany. 2 This fine for peace and 
the large fine for the restoration of his land were 
no doubt imposed on Felim because of Aedh's 
complicity in the revolt of Brian O'Neill, and 
were presumably the terms of the peace of Derry- 
quirk. From this time until after the death of 
Aedh very little, if any, rent was paid by the 
king of Connaught, and the amount of arrears 
and fines mounted up and were duly carried 

But fines entered on Pipe Rolls, though not 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1262. As confirmation of Aedh's raid to 
Athlone we may note that in his account of the issues of 
Athlone for the years 1262-6, Richard de la Eochelle 
' answers nothing for issues of five acres outside the ram- 
part of the castle because it was devastated by ' Felim and 
Aedh his son : 35th Kep. D. K, p. 48. 

2 Irish Pipe Eoll, 46 Hen. Ill, 35th Eep. D. K., p. 44. 
I have examined the original roll, from which it further 
appears that Felim owed £1,050 arrears of rent of three 
cantreds, besides two years' rent of Tirmany, the amount of 
which is not stated. 


collected, only served to exasperate Aedh O'Conor 
still further, and the peace was soon broken 
again. In 1264, there was another meeting 
between the English leaders, including Richard de 
la Rochelle, justiciar, Walter de Burgh, now Earl 
of Ulster, and Maurice, son of Maurice Fitz 
Gerald, on the one side, and Felim and Aedh on 
the other. The latter came in great force, and, 
according to the annals, ' fear and consternation 
seized the English', who forthwith concluded 

Near the close of 1264 a quarrel broke out Quarrel 
between Walter de Burgh, now Earl of Ulster, ^JttT 
and Maurice Fitz Maurice, who represented the de Burgh 
Geraldines in Connaught. The quarrel is said to and 
have caused great disturbances in Ireland, but Maurice. 
authenticated facts are few. On December 6 at 
Castledermot in County Kildare, Maurice Fitz 
Maurice and his nephew Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
third lord of Offaly, made prisoners of Richard 
de la Rochelle, then justiciar, Theobald Butler 
and John de Cogan, and confined them in the 
castles of Lea and Dunamase. 1 Earl Walter 
seized the castles of Lough Mask, Ardrahan, and 
others belonging to Maurice Fitz Maurice in Con- 
naught, and each party seems to have plundered 
the other's lands. How widespread the dis- 
turbances were is illustrated by the contemporary 
poem in Old French on the entrenchment of the 
town of Ross in County Wexford. It recounts 
how in February 1265, all the inhabitants, insti- 

1 Clyn's Annals and Ann. Loch Co, 1264. The Annales de 
Monte Fernandi (Strade) give the day of the justiciar's caption, 

I 'in die Sancti Nicholai', and its accuracy is shown by the 
pleading in Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, p. 205, though in that 

^pleading the regnal year is given as forty-eight, apparently 
by error for forty-nine. 

4251-1 Q 


tuting an extensive system of 'dilution of labour', 
aided the hired workmen in hurriedly enclosing 
the town, in dread of the consequences of the 
feud between 'Sir Maurice and Sir Walter'. 1 
The cause of this feud between the de Burghs 
and the Geraldines, which broke out again in the 
next generation, is nowhere stated, but there are 
indications which make it pretty plain how it 

The root-fact was that the Fitz Geralds in 
Connaught were too ambitious and too powerful 
to remain loyal vassals of the de Burghs, and the 
latter for their part were jealous of the power of 
their Geraldine rivals. Though Maurice Fitz 
Gerald, father of Maurice Fitz Maurice, held 
directly from Richard de Burgh only the lands 
about Ardrahan and Kilcolgan in the south of 
County Galway, he had acquired from other 
grantees a large holding about Lough Mask in 
County Mayo, as well as from Hugh de Lacy 
extensive lands in County Sligo connecting up 
with Tirconnell and Fermanagh, to which he also 
had claims under Hugh de Lacy's grant. He 
was in fact by far the largest subordinate land- 
holder in Connaught. His position, too, as justiciar 
during the remainder of Richard's lifetime gave 
him additional power, and there are not wanting 
signs that jealousy and variance of political policy 
arose between the two from the outset of the 

1 For the text of this poem see Archaeologia, vol. xxii, 
and for a spirited rendering by Mrs. George Mac Lean (L.E. L.), 
see Crofton Croker's Popular Songs of Ireland, pp. 291-304. 
The disturbance, originating at Castledermot, where the 
justiciar was presumably holding a court, extended to the 
County Wexford, because Maurice Fitz Maurice held some 
lands there in right of his Prendergast wife : Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. hi, no. 463. 


occupation. 1 After the death of Hugh de Lacy 
in 1243 the" land of Ulster was taken into the 
king's hand, and as regards his claims to Tirconnell 
and Fermanagh, at any rate, Maurice had no 
superior lord between him and the Crown. When 
in 1247 seisin was granted to. the second Richard 
de Burgh, Walter's elder brother, the dominium 
of the Sligo lands does not seem to have been 
included. 2 In 1253, after Walter had succeeded 
to his brother, he arraigned Maurice Fitz Gerald 
on an assize of mort d'ancestor, 3 probably in respect 
of the Sligo seigniory, but with what result is not 
known. Soon after 1258 Maurice Fitz Maurice, 
who now held his father's Connaught lands, 
acquired in right of his then wife, Matilda, 
daughter of Gerald de Prendergast, the cantred 
of Corran in County Sligo. 4 In 1263 Walter de 
Burgh built a castle at Ath Anghaile somewhere 
in Corran, 5 and this intrusion in his domain, 
though possibly justified, is likely to have been 
unwelcome to Maurice. When about this time or 
in the next year Walter de Burgh was made Earl 
of Ulster by Prince Edward and given the lands 
of Hugh de Lacy there, Maurice must have greatly 
resented the interposition of his rival as superior 
lord between him and the Crown. Probably a 
decision in the justiciar's court at Castledermot 
adverse to Maurice, touching the rights of the 
parties in Ulster and perhaps in Sligo, was 

1 See supra, p. 187, note 2. 

2 Supra, p. 193, note 1. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 282. * Supra, p. 190. 
5 Ann. Loch Ce, 1263. It probably stood at a ford over 

the Owenmore river, near where it leaves the Templehouse 
lake, which appears to have been formerly known as Lough 
Awnally (Ath anghaile). It was near to, but distinct from, 
the castle of Tech Templa mentioned in 1271 : see Proc. 
B. I. A., vol. xxvi (c), p. 368. 

Q 2 


regarded as unjust by Maurice, and in the 
abeyance of the royal power consequent on the 
battle of Lewes, he and his kindred did not scruple 
to use force against the king's representative. 1 

It appears that Geoffrey de Geynville led a 
force on behalf of the government against the 
Geraldines in 1265, 2 and this indicates the side 
Prince Edward thought was in the wrong. By 
June 10 the king had heard that the discord 
between the parties had been appeased, 3 and it 
was ordained in regard to the restoration of lands 
that all persons should have the same estate as 
they had when the disturbance began. 4 

It was not to be supposed that Aedh O'Conor 
would sit quiet while this feud was being waged 
between the magnates. Accordingly we read that 
in 1265 in company with O'Donnell he demolished 
the castles of Sligo, Banada, and Ardcree. 5 These 
Death of were Geraldine castles. In the same year, his 
I265 m ' f^her, King Felim, died — ' a man full of distinc- 
tion and honour in Erin and Saxon-land' — and 
he was buried in the Dominican Friary in Ros- 
common, where his sepulchral effigy, battered by 
time and neglect, is still pointed out. For thirty 

1 It is perhaps not irrelevant to note that Eichard de 
la Eochelle and Theobald Butler IV were connected by- 
marriage with Walter de Burgh. Both Walter and Theo- 
bald were married to daughters of John Fitz Geoffrey, 
formerly justiciar (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, no. 638) : and 
Richard de la Eochelle was his nephew. As for John de 
Cogan, who was also imprisoned, he married the elder 
daughter of Gerald de Prendergast, half-sister of Matilda, 
then wife of Maurice Fitz Maurice. But there had already 
been disputes between these half-sisters about their shares 
in Gerald's lands : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 165. 

2 36th Eep. D. K.,p. 37. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, p. 126. 4 Ibid., p. 205. 

5 Four Masters, Ann. Loch Ce, 1265. The latter annals 
do not mention O'Donnell. 


years Felim had been, on the whole, in difficult 
circumstances, personally loyal to the king of 
England. He had accepted the settlement of 
1235, by which he held the five cantreds from 
the English Crown. He had visited King Henry 
in England and had aided him in his war in 
Wales. But in his later years he had found 
himself unable to curb the aggressive spirit of his 
warrior son, and he had seen in consequence one 
of his cantreds taken from him. 

Aedh now succeeded Felim as actual king, and Aedh as 
just as Cuchullin on first receiving arms must kin £- 
needs sally forth from Emain 'to redden his 
weapons ' on friend or foe, so Aedh on assuming 
the sovereignty ' executed his royal depredation ' 
in Offaly, where he committed many burnings 
and killings, and on his return to Athlone he 
blinded Cathal, son of Teig O'Conor, who died 
after having been blinded. 1 Such is the view 
taken by the annalists of Aedh's expedition to 
Offaly, and it is endorsed by O'Donovan. But 
it may be asked, why did Aedh select distant 
Offaly for his 'royal depredation"? Why not 
Loughrea, for instance? It is impossible not to 
note that Offaly (or part of it), like Sligo, where 
he had just destroyed the castles, was a Geraldine 
district, and that in both cases Aedh was 
apparently despoiling the opponents of Walter 
de Burgh. If this was done with Walter's 
connivance, it was a short-sighted as well as a 
dishonourable policy — 

Non tali auxilio nee defensoribus istis 
tempus eget. 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, Four Masters, Ann. Clonmacnois, 1265. 
Cathal was grandson of Felim's elder brother Aedh and had 
the senior claim to the kingship. 


As might have been expected, Aedh did not 
long confine his attentions to Walter's quondam 
foes. Next year (1266) several attacks were made 
on the English settlers. The castle of Tiaquin 1 
was breached and the district about Dunmore laid 
waste. Ardnarea and the borough of Ballintogher 
were burned. A raid was made by Aedh's people 
against the Britons and Leinstermen of the west 
of Connaught— meaning presumably the Welsh- 
men of Tirawley and their neighbours from Meath 
and Dublin — and thirty-one of their heads were 
Tirmany presented to O'Conor. 1 One consequence of these 
resumed, exploits was that the king resumed the cantred of 
Tirmany and made grants therein. 2 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1266. Tiaquin (Tech Dhachmnne) was in 
O'Kelly's country, and but for this entry we should not 
know that there was a castle here. It was probably held in 
connexion with Dunmore. 

2 Cal. Pat. Roll, 51 Hen. Ill, p. 85, where ' Thoyth ' 
probably represents the Irish tuath, viz. Clann Uadach. 
Sweetman mistook it for the name of a person : Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. ii, no. 823. This explains the statement in 
Ann. Loch Ce, 1267, that Walter de Burgh plundered 
Tir Maine and Clann Uadach. He was taking possession 
for the king. Clann Uadach was O'Fallon's territory and 
lay in the parishes of Cam ma and Dysart in the barony of 
Athlone : Four Masters, vol. hi, p. 236. Both this land 
and 'Crohon in Tirmany' (Creamhthainn, sometimes angli- 
cized Cruffon, in the barony of Killian, County Gal way) 
afterwards belonged to Richard de la Rochelle : 36th Rep. 
D. K., p. 56, and Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 878 ; and 
see the grant by Richard de la Rochelle to the little-known 
Cistercian abbey De Diserto iuxta Briolam, i.e. Briole in the 
parish of Dysart : Chart. St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, vol. i, 
p. 254. Other grantees in Tirmany (later), were John de 
Saunford, Escheator (ibid., no. 2115) in Clunn Conmaigh in 
the barony of Ballymoe ; and Richard de Exeter, deputy of 
Robert de Ufford, ibid., no. 1704 ; cf. vol. iv, no. 806, and 
vol. v, nos. 209, 316. His castle was at Athleague on the 
Suck. For further details and other grantees see Knox, 
Journal R. S. A. L, vol. xxxiii (1903), pp. 284-94. 


We must suppose that Aedh O'Conor would 
have been checked in his turbulent career before 
this, had not Henry and his ministers been pre- 
occupied with greater issues in England. The 
great struggle of the English barons to secure 
a reform in the administration of the realm — 
a struggle which commenced in 1258, and came 
to a crisis in the capture of Henry and his son 
Edward at Lewes in 1264— did not end with the 
death of Simon de Montfort at Evesham in the 
next year, but lingered on until the, summer of 
1267 was over. 

In 1268, Aedh was once more summoned to 
a conference at Athlone, but as before he came in 
force, and this time employed the argument of 
weapons with some effect on those who had 
summoned him. In September, Robert d'Ufford 
came to Ireland on affairs of Prince Edward, and 
next year as justiciar he began to build a castle 
at Roscommon. This was a sign for all to read 
that the king had definitively resumed the cantred 
of Tirmany. Aedh was ill at the time, but it is 
clear that he had no intention of tamely sub- 
mitting to this further encroachment on his 
already circumscribed domain. About the same 
time Maurice Fitz Maurice rebuilt the castle of 

In 1270, O'Donnell burned Sligo and war broke Cam- 
out with Aedh O'Conor. Earl Walter, accompanied i nl, £ n , 

JV CTT'"| IT) o£ 

by Richard of Exeter, deputy -justiciar, 1 led a large A^Jh, 
force, including an Irish division, by way of 1270. 
Roscommon to Elphin, and so to the Shannon, 

1 The annalists mention the justiciar, but do not give his 
name. Robert d'Ufford seems to have returned to England 
and left Richard of Exeter as his deputy before the battle, 
which took place in die sancti Fantaleonis (July 28, 1270) : 
Annales de Monte Fernandi, Tracts, I. A. S., vol. ii, p. 15. 


somewhere near Carrick or Jamestown. Aedh 
was encamped in Moy Nissi, in the south of 
County Leitrim, and the earl, leaving the justiciar 
behind him, crossed the Shannon and marched 
to near Aedh's camp. He then opened negotia- 
tions with Aedh, and sent his own brother, 
William Og, as a hostage to Aedh's people, ' while 
Aedh should be in the earl's house arranging the 
peace \ Aedh's people, however, at once took the 
earl's brother prisoner, and killed John Dolphin 
and his son, who were in attendance. This 
treachery was enough to show that it was vain to 
negotiate with Aedh, and the earl, either not 
being in sufficient force to fight or fearing for the 
life of his brother, retreated towards the Shannon. 
O'Conor, we are told, harried the retreat, 'as 
a furious raging, tearing lion goes about his 
enemies when killing them, so that he permitted 
them neither to eat, sleep, nor be at rest \ When 
the English reached the ford across the Shannon 
at Ath-an-chip, 1 Turlough O'Brien, 2 who was 
fighting on O'Conor's side, overtook them. Earl 
Walter slew him in single combat. But now the 
Connaughtmen came up, forced the earl's rear- 
guard, and turned the retreat into a rout. Nine 
knights were slain and a hundred caparisoned 
horses were left on the field. Clearly the earl 
was badly mauled. Aedh then killed William de 
Burgh, the earl's brother, in his captivity 'as an 
eric', or rather in revenge, for the death of 

1 Ath-an-chip, ' vadum trabis ', was near Carrick on 
Shannon, but the precise site is uncertain. Miles de Nangle 
built a castle here in 1245, but it had long since been 

2 He was perhaps a son of Brian Koe O'Brien, king of 
Thomond, who also turned against the English at this 


Turlough O'Brien, though the latter appears to 
have fallen in fair fight. True to the feline 
analogy, Aedh paid no attention to the conventions 
of warfare. Subsequently he followed up his 
success by demolishing the castles of Ath- 
Anghaile, Slieve Lugha, and Kilcolman, and 
burning Roscommon, Randown, and Owenagh. 
Clearly Aedh was a formidable opponent to the 
English domination of Connaught, and yet Prince 
Edward, the dominus Hiberniae, set so little store 
on the peace of his lordship, that in this year he 
set out on a crusade to the Holy Land, and did 
not return to England until four years had passed. 

In 1271, after a week's illness, Earl Walter Death of 
died in his castle of Galway, on the first anni- ^J 
versary of his defeat at Ath-an-chip. His lands 1271. 
were now taken into the hand of Prince Edward, 
soon to be king, for nine years during the minority 
of his eldest son Richard, afterwards known as 
the Red Earl of Ulster. As for Aedh O'Conor, 
he broke in this year the castle of the Templars 
(now Templehouse in Leyney), the castle of Sligo, 
and the castle of Richard of Exeter at Athleague ; 
and in the next year he broke the castle of 
Roscommon, and made a raid into Meath as far 
as Granard, burned the town of Athlone, and 
broke down the bridge across the Shannon. But 
the end of this great warrior was approaching, Death of 
and he died on May 3, 1274. Though he hardly £f 7 d 4 h ' 
ever ventured into the more fully colonized parts 
of Galway and Mayo, which during all this time 
enjoyed comparative peace, his frequent forays 
into Sligo and the lands bordering on his cantreds, 
wasted these districts from time to time, and 
greatly interfered with their progress and pros- 
perity. Even the Irish annalists, usually in- 
discriminate in their eulogies of deceased kings, 


give him a double-edged obituary notice : ' A king 
who emptied and wasted Connaught against the 
English and Gael who opposed him ; a king who 
inflicted frequent great defeats on English and 
Gael, and a king who demolished their courts and 
castles ; a king who took the hostages of the Ui 
Briuin and Cinel Connell ; the most formidable 
triumphant king of the kings of Erin ; the 
destroyer and improver of all Erin during the 
period of his own renown, dignity, and time.' 

Aedh O'Conor was at any rate a strong king, 
though a ruthless one. In his time no rival 
O'Conor dared to contest the throne with him, 
but immediately he was gone the old factions ran 
riot. He attained this immunity from revolt by 
reviving the odious practice, then happily be-; 
coming rare, of blinding possible opponents, and 
at least three members of the house of his uncle, 
the former King Aedh, son of Cathal Crovderg, 
suffered thus at his hands. The English govern- 
ment made no sustained effort to control him. 
Again and again he broke out into acts of violence 
beyond his borders, but each time, after at most 
a show of force, an ineffectual peace was made 
with him. But King Henry himself was partly 
to blame for Aedh's irreconcilable attitude. His 
fatuous attempt to provide an income for his half- 
brother out of the five cantreds, at a time when 
Felim was loyal and contented, was the way to 
breed distrust, discontent, and disloyalty. Indeed, 
Henry's dealings with these reserved cantreds 
were marked throughout by political ineptitude. 
While excluding the de Burghs from the district, 
he made no attempt to rule it himself. He 
neither controlled the O'Conors, nor (apparently) 
allowed Walter de Burgh to punish them for 
raids into his lands. On the other hand, he did 


not leave them in undisturbed possession of their 
enclave. From time to time, in view of an out- 
break, a cantred or a piece of one would be 
withdrawn from them, or a large fine would be 
imposed before admitting them to peace. The 
imposition of fines was, however, the less of 
a deterrent as they were seemingly never paid, 
but by granting the withheld lands to officials and 
favourites who were absentees, and made little or 
no attempt to castellate, colonize, and govern 
their lands, the king of England lost the good will 
of the king of Connaught without appreciably 
strengthening English influence in the province. 

It may indeed be said that the record of the 
O'Conors throughout the thirteenth century shows 
that none of them could ever keep the rest in 
order, but this was an argument for depriving them 
of their dominion altogether, and not for continu- 
ally irritating them by piecemeal dismemberment 
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Hugh de The complete restoration of Hugh de Lacy to 
ianda* * ne ^ an ^ s °^ which he had been deprived by King 
John took place in April 1227. l Besides the 
extensive lordship which John de Courcy had 
established in Ulster, these lands included the 
manors of Ratoath and Nobber in Meath, which 
Hugh had held of the gift of Walter de Lacy, and 
the castle of Carlingford with the land in the 
north of the present county of Louth, which Hugh 
had acquired with his wife Leceline de Verdun. 3 
The monetary value of the lordship of Ulster at 
this period, in normal years, must have been 
considerable, and the implied prosperity of the 
feudalized districts very great, for, in spite of the 
recent disturbances, the sum of £936 4s. 4<i. was 
received by Robert de Vaux, the king's bailiff, in 
the space apparently of little more than a year 
prior to June 1226. 3 

1 Patent Eoll, 11 Hen. Ill, p. 118. 

2 For Ratoath see ante, vol. ii, p. 76 ; for Nobber ibid., 
p. 84 ; and for Carlingford, p. 251. For the remarkable 
agreement by which Hugh acquired lands in Uriel with his 
wife Leceline, ibid., p. 121. The lands in Uriel included 
the ancient district of Cooley (Cuailnge), in which, on a high 
river bank close to the graveyard of Newtown-Cooley, are 
the earthworks of a mote and bailey fortress, now known, 
after a much later tenant, as ' Mount Bagnall '. They presum- 
ably mark the first Anglo-Norman site in the district. 

* Eot. Claus., 11 Hen. Ill, p. 205. 


Moreover this sum apparently did not include The 
the issues of Coleraine and the Twescard (Tuaiscert), Twescard. 
or the northern part of the present county of 
Antrim, afterwards the most lucrative part of the 
earldom. At this time the northern district was 
held directly of the Crown. As we have seen, 1 
large tracts here, extending along the northern 
coast as far as Deny, had been granted by King 
John to Alan, Earl of Galloway, and his brother 
Thomas, Earl of Athol, and the latter had built 
a castle at Coleraine. Hugh de Lacy, however, 
in company with Aedh O'Neill, had recently 
destroyed the castle of Coleraine 2 and had harried 
the lands of the Scottish nobles who were opposing 
his attempt to recover his lands by force. They 
were, therefore, naturally apprehensive of the 
consequences to them of Hugh's reinstatement 
and appealed to the king. 3 In the arrangements 
made in 1226 with a view to the restoration of 
Hugh's lands, it was expressly provided that the 
seisins of these Scottish nobles should be saved. 4 
What became of their tenures is, however, obscure. 
In 1228 the castle of Coleraine was rebuilt, 6 but 
by whom we are not told. Matthew Paris men- 
tions that Alan of Galloway was married to a 
daughter of Hugh de Lacy, so we must suppose 
that the two became reconciled ; but the same 
writer tells us that after Alan's death in 1234, 

1 Ante, vol. ii, pp. 290-2. Among the magnates of Ireland 
to whom, in July 1221, Henry III announced the super- 
session of Geoffrey de Marisco as justiciar by Henry de 
Londres, Archbishop of Dublin, was ' Thomas de Galweie 
earl of Athoyl ' : Rot. Claus., 5 Hen. Ill, p. 476 b. 

a Ann. Ulst. 1222. 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 1218, 1219, 1473. 

4 Rot. Pat., 10 Hen. Ill, pp. 76-8. 

6 Ann. Ulst. 1228. 


Hugh assembled a force from Galloway, the Isle 
of Man, and parts of Ireland, and that after enter- 
ing into a blood-covenant according to the old 
barbaric rites, the confederates attempted to de- 
prive Alan's three daughters of their inheritance in 
Galloway in favour of a male successor. 1 They 
were utterly defeated by the Scottish king in 
1236, but it may have been in consequence of this 
quarrel that Hugh put an end to the Scottish 
tenures in the Twescard. In 1242, Patrick, son 
of Thomas of Galloway, was murdered in Scotland, 
and Walter Byset and his nephew John, accused 
of the crime, were outlawed and fled to Ireland. 2 
Here they obtained, presumably from Hugh de 
Lacy, lands about Glenarm, in the parishes of 
Carncastle and Ardclinis, in the district of Carey 
and in Rathlin Island. 3 These lands certainly 
included the better part of those formerly granted 
to Duncan of Carrick and Alan of Galloway. The 
feud between these families seems to have lasted 
for some years longer, as in January 1252, Alan, 
son of Thomas, Earl of Athol, was pardoned for 
killing some of John Byset's men in Ireland. 4 
John Byset, ' destroyer of churches and of the 
Gael', perished of a sudden death in 1257. 5 He 
was succeeded by his son John, who, however, 
seems to have died in 1260, leaving three daughters 
as coheiresses. 6 
Hugh de Hugh de Lacy had spent a large part of his life 
Lacy 9 campaigning, not only in Ireland east and west, 
paigns. but in Languedoc against the Albigenses, and in 
Wales on the side of Llewellyn, and he did not 

1 Matthew Paris, vol. iii, p. 64. 

J Ibid., vol. iv, pp. 188-9, and Fordun's Chronicle. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1500. 

4 Ibid., no. 2. 6 Ann. Ulst., 1257. 
6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1500. 


now remain peaceably within the borders of his 
recovered earldom. He took part, as we have in Con- 
seen, 1 with Richard de Burgh in his great cam- ^"S 1 • 
paigns in Connaught in 1230 and 1235, and was 
rewarded by a grant of five cantreds in the 
northern part of that province. He immediately 
enfeoffed Maurice Fitz Gerald and others in most 
of his lands there, retaining, so far as appears, 
only the manor of Meelick in the present barony 
of Gallen. 2 In 1234, forgetting what he himself Against 
had suffered at the hands of a capricious monarch, Marshal 
and unmindful of the generous treatment meted 
out to him when he was in the power of the late 
Earl William Marshal, he played the treacherous 
game of the king and his Poitevin counsellors 
against Earl William's brother, the fearless 
champion of constitutional government, and must 
share the disgrace of the foul deed by which that 
chivalrous, if imprudent, knight was done to 
death. In this ugly episode, as in that of the 
downfall of John de Courcy thirty years before, 
we cannot acquit Hugh de Lacy on the plea that 
he was merely repressing disorder at the command 
of his lord the king — he could be disorderly and 
rebellious enough himself when it suited him — 
nor can we fail to suspect that he was in each 
case actuated by personal motives. 

As long as Aedh O'Neill, the ally of his re- In 
bellious days, was alive, Hugh made no attack J^ 
upon Tiro wen. But Aedh died in 1230 — ' a king Tircon- 
who gave neither pledge or hostage to foreigner or nel1, 
Gael ' — and soon the old struggle for the kingship 
between the O'Loughlins and O'Neills broke out 
again, accompanied by much fighting between the 
Cinel Owen and the Cinel Connell. In 1238 

1 Supra, p. 182. 2 Supra, pp. 193-201. 

J151-1 R 


Maurice Fitz Gerald, then justiciar, and Hugh de 
Lacy dethroned Donnell O'Loughlin, and gave the 
sovereignty to a son l of Aedh O'Neill and obtained 
the hostages of the two northern kingdoms. It 
was probably as a reward for Maurice's services on 
this occasion that Hugh enfeoffed him in Tircon- 
nell, and perhaps in the district about the lower 
end of Lough Erne, and in part of Fermanagh as 
well. 2 If Maurice could make good his claim to 
these latter districts, as well as to what Hugh had 
given him in Connaught, he would have a con- 
tinuous stretch of territory from Banada in Leyney 
to Fanad on Lough Swilly. He seems to have 
made the attempt. From this time forward he 
frequently appears fighting in Tirconnell, which 
became, as we should say, a Geraldine sphere of 
influence. Thus in 1242, supported by Felim 
O'Conor, he entered Tirconnell, and the chieftains 
of the Cinel Connell came into his house and gave 
him hostages. 3 These submissions for the time 
seem to have been real and not merely nominal. 
In July 1244 Henry III invited the kings of 
Tirconnell and Tirowen, and the principal chiefs 
of Eastern Ulster and Uriel (as well as those of 
Connaught and Munster), to join him in an ex- 
pedition against the Scots. 4 As peace was made 

1 Apparently Brian catha an Du'xn: Ann. Loch Ce, 1238. 

2 The grant of ' Tyrconyll . . . per rectas metas et divisas 
inter Keneleon et Tyrconyll . . . faciendo . . . servicium 
quatuor militum ', &c, is in the Ked Book of the Earl of 
Kildare, f. v. d. In 1293 Amabil, one of the two daughters 
and coheirs of Maurice Fitz Maurice, quitted claim to John 
Fitz Thomas ' in medietate cantredi de Crycarbry ubi Slygath 
iacet et in duobus cantredis et duobus teodhis de Tirconyll 
et medietate de Locherny et in septem teodhis de Fermanath 
que terre mihi ex iure hereditario acciderunt' : ibid., f. viii. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1242. 

4 Close Roll, 28 Hen. Ill, p. 255. The northern chieftains 
summoned were Dovenald king of Tirchunill ; Felim, son of 


with Alexander II, the expedition was counter- 
manded, but the king, while thanking the Irish 
chiefs for the good service they were prepared to 
render, asked them to be ready for service by the 
ensuing summer. Next summer (1245) Maurice 
Fitz Gerald led a force to assist the king in Wales, 
and this force included Felim O'Conor, 'accom- 
panied by a great army of the Gael', 1 but whether 
any of the northern Irish were persuaded to join 
does not appear. The expedition was a failure. 
Henry advanced to the River Conway, and during 
a stay of over two months there fortified the castle 
of Dyganwy, but his army effected nothing and 
suffered great privations. The Irish contingent 
under Maurice Fitz Gerald arrived late, 2 and this 
is the reason assigned by Matthew Paris for the 
supersession of Maurice as justiciar by John Fitz 
Geoffrey, which now took place. Matthew Paris 
adds that ' Maurice patiently endured all this, 
because since the death of his son he despised all 
the glories and dignities of this world '. This was 
his eldest son, Gerald, who until recently has 
been strangely misplaced in the received pedigree 
of the Leinster Geraldines. He had accompanied 

the late king [of Connaught] ; Oraly (O'TiagJiallaigh) ; O'Han- 
lon (O'h Anluain) ; Brian O'Nel, king of Kinelun (O'Neill of 
Cinel Eogltain) ; O'Chatan (O'Catliain, O'Kane) ; O'Hynery 
(O'hlnneirghc) ; Donald Msickadmel (Mac Cathmail, Mac Cavvel) ; 
Mac Anegus (Mac Acnghusa, Mc Guiness) ; Mac Kartan (Mac 
Artairi) ; Mac Gilemuri (Mac Gilla Muire, Gilmurry) ; OTlen 
(O'Floinn) ; Mac Mathaven (Mac M athghama'm, Mac Mahon) ; 
and Mac O'Calmery (the son of O'Gailmrcdhaigh. O'Gorrnley). 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1245 ; cf. Foedera, vol. i, p. 257. 

2 Payment at the rate of 2d. a day was ordered to be made 
,to 3,000 foot-soldiers who came with the justiciar to the 

king's service at Gannock for the ten days prior to October 29 
(Cal. Pat. Polls, 29 Hen. Ill, p. 461), when the camp was 
ibroken up. 

R 2 


King Henry in the disastrous expedition to Poitou 
in 1242 and never returned. 1 

By this date indeed most of the leading figures 
that occupied the stage of Ireland during the first 
half of Henry's reign had disappeared. Before 
the close of 1245 not only all the male repre- 
sentatives of the elder William Marshal, but 
Richard de Burgh, and both Walter and Hugh 
de Lacy were dead, and in every case there was 
Death of no adult male heir to fill the vacant place. Walter 
Walter de c ] e L aC y died early in 1241, infirm and blind and 
1241.' burdened with debts to the Crown. 2 Three years 
earlier he had acknowledged his grandson, Walter, 
son of Gilbert de Lacy, as his heir, 3 but at his 
death his heirs were his two granddaughters, 
Margaret and Matilda, daughters of his son 
Gilbert. By 1244 Margaret was given in marriage 
to John de Verdun, son of Rohesia de Verdun 
and the second Theobald Butler, and Matilda to 
Peter de Genevre, 4 a Provencal of humble origin 
thus promoted by the king. Peter, however, died 
in 1249, ■ and by August 1252 Matilda was the 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 2573 ; Clyn's Annals, 1243, 
and see my paper on the ' Fitz Geralds Barons of Offaly ', 
Journal K. S. A. I., vol. xliv (1914), pp. 105-8. 

2 Matthew Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. iv, p. 93. On March 5 
Walter de Godarville was given the custody of Walter's 
lands in Ireland : Cal. Pat. Rolls, 25 Hen. Ill, p. 246. 

3 Ibid., 22 Hen. Ill, p. 220. 

4 The issues of Walter's lands in Meath were restored to 
these couples on May 14, 1244, to hold without partition i 
till further orders : Close Rolls, 28 Hen. Ill, m. 10. John 
de Verdun, if as usually supposed son of Theobald Butler II, 
was not of full age in 1244, as Rohesia did not marry 
Theobald until after Sept. 4, 1225 : Rot. Claus., 9 Hen. Ill, 
p. 60. He had presumably attained twenty-one by May 3, 
1247, when he was given seisin of his mother's lands : Rot. 
de Finibus, 31 Hen. Ill, m. 7, p. 11. 

5 Matthew Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. v, p. 90 ; where Peter 
is said to have had a son and a daughter by Matilda. 


wife of Geoffrey de Geynville, or Joinville, brother 
of the historian of Louis IX. By this time Meath 
had been partitioned between the two coheiresses, 
and eventually Trim became the caput of the de 
Geynville moiety, in which the liberties and free 
customs enjoyed by Walter de Lacy prior to 1224 
were restored, 1 while Ballymore of Lough Sewdy 
(Baile mdr locha semhdidhe) was the principal manor 
of the de Verdun moiety, where the franchises of 
the liberty seem to have been more frequently 
withheld by the king. 2 

Like the eldest son of Maurice Fitz Gerald, Richard 
Richard de Burgh died in the king's service on 1242-3 
the ill-fated expedition to Poitou in the winter of 
1242-3. 3 He left by his wife Egidia, daughter of 
Walter de Lacy, three sons, Richard, Walter, and 
William, all minors. Richard was given seisin of 
his father's lands in February 1247, but was dead 
without issue by November 5, 1248. His brother 
Walter was still a minor, and Peter de Berming- 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 69, and Cal. Chart. Eolls 
(1252), p. 401. 

2 See Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, nos. 810, 1645, 1670. No 
record of the partition of Meath seems to have been preserved. 
Speaking generally, the eastern portion fell to Geoffrey 
de Geynville and the western to John de Verdun. Duleek, 
however, in East Meath, was a de Verdun manor, as were 
also Ballymore of Lough Sewdy (Sunderlin) in West Meath, 
Incheleffer (?), Moydow in Co. Longford, and ' Adleck ' 
(Athlicif/, now Bally league or Lanesborough on the Shannon), 
where fairs and markets were granted to Theobald de Verdun 
in 1284 : ibid., 2303-4 ; while the services of Mullingar and 
some other manors in the eastern baronies of Westmeath 
were assigned to the de Geynville moiety : Gormanston 
Register, pp. 10-13. 

3 Before March 7, 1243, when Egidia was given dower in 
his Munster lands, as to which see supra, p. 165. His death 
was the result of hardships endured at sea : Matt. Paris, 
Chron. Mai., vol. iv, pp. 198-9. 





ham was given the custody of his lands and 
castles. 1 

The year 1242 saw also the last of Donough 
Cairbrech O'Brien, king of Thomond, 2 who had 
joined Richard de Burgh on many an expedition. 
His brother Murtough died three years earlier. 3 
The latter seems to have married a daughter of 
Richard de Burgh, for in February 1243 the king 
at Bordeaux, evidently at the request of Richard, 
who lay dying there, ordered that Alice, Richard's 
daughter, should have her dower according to the 
law and custom of Ireland out of the lands of 
Murtough O'Brien. 4 

The same year that witnessed the deaths of the 
last two sons of Earl William Marshal the elder 
saw also the miserable end of Geoffrey de Marisco. 
He had been a prominent figure in the reign of 
King John and in the earlier part of the reign 
of his successor, and had twice held the office of 
justiciar, but he had sadly fallen from his high 
estate. The part he played in the occurrences 
which led to the death of Earl Richard Marshal 
in the spring of 1234, though perhaps not quite 
so discreditable as the chroniclers of St. Albans 
represented it, seems to have left him with no 
friends in Ireland. In August 1235 the king 
indeed 'remitted his ire' against him for siding 
with Richard Marshal, restored him to his lands 
or some of them, and gave him easier terms for 
the payment of the fine of 3,000 marks which had 
been imposed upon him. 5 But about the same 
time Geoffrey got into trouble with Hubert de 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, nos. 2865, 2975, 2978. 
" See infra, vol. iv, c. xxxiv. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1239. 

4 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. i, no. 2603. 

' Cal. Fine Rolls, 19 Hen. Ill, p. 286. 


Burgh, brother of Richard de Burgh and Bishop 
of Limerick, who excommunicated him for certain 
alleged injuries to the church of Limerick. The 
quarrel did not come before the civil courts, and 
its details can only be inferred from some docu- 
ments preserved in the Black Book of Limerick. 
It concerned the town of Kilmallock and some 
neighbouring lands which belonged to the see and 
were held by Geoffrey. The Bishop of Lismore, 
commissioned by the Pope in 1235 to investigate 
the matter, found that though Geoffrey had received 
a hundred marks for the quit-claim of the town, 
the issues of which were valued at £32 3s. 4cd., he 
nevertheless detained it for twenty years and 
more. Acts of violence were also alleged, but this 
seems to have been the ground-cause of the dis- 
pute. The damages to the see were estimated at 
1,500 marks, and the sentence of excommunica- 
tion was confirmed until satisfaction should be 
made. 1 In the same register there is an undated 
deed by which Geoffrey acknowledged that he 
had done homage to Bishop Hubert for Kilmallock 
and the other lands, and would pay an annual rent 
for the same of £1 13s. id: 2 This seems to have 
been the original agreement. In 1236 the king 
issued a mandate to the justiciar to give seisin to 
Geoffrey of his land of Kilmallock, which had been 
wrongfully claimed by the bishop as an escheat 
owing to the outlawry of Geoffrey's son William, 
who was tenant under Geoffrey of the land.' But 
in any case the bishop had not to wait very long for 
a legal ground of escheat. William de Marisco, 

1 Black Book of Limerick (Mac Caffrey), nos. clvii, clxi 
(anno 1235), and clviii (anno 1237) ; and cf. Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
vol. i, nos. 22t>7, 22G8. 

i Black Book of Limerick, no. xxv, p. 29. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 2367, 238G. 


as already mentioned, 1 was charged with the death 
of Henry Clement in 1235 and was outlawed. In 
1238 he was accused of instigating an attempt on 
the king's life. These charges, however, were 
vehemently denied and were never proved. But 
William, driven to desperation, maintained him- 
self for some time as a pirate on Lundy Island, 
and in 1242 was captured and ignominiously 
executed. 2 His father, Geoffrey, seems to have 
been outlawed about the same time, 3 but in what 
circumstances does not appear. According to 
Matthew Paris he died in 1245, ' a wretched exile 
and wanderer, expelled from Scotland, banished 
from England, and disinherited in Ireland '. 
Hugh de Lastly, before February 1243 Hugh de Lacy, 
Lacy, Earl of Ulster, died, and his land of Ulster reverted 
to the Crown. The legal basis of this reversion 
is obscure. There is no doubt that Hugh left at 
least one daughter, Matilda, by his first wife, 
Leceline de Verdun. Soon after Hugh's restora- 
tion she was married to David Fitz William, baron 
of Naas, and Hugh gave her the castle of Carling- 
ford and all the land which he had with her 
mother in Cooley and Uriel and in the county of 
Limerick, also all his land of Morgallion (the 
manor of Nobber) in Meath. 4 She died shortly 

1 Supra, p. 68. 

2 Matt. Paris, Chron. Mai., vol. iv, pp. 193, 195. 

3 His outlawry is referred to in a mandate of June 11, 
1244 : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2683. It would seem 
to have taken place at least a year and a day previously. 

4 Gormanston Eegister, f. 191 d. It is not clear on the 
face of it that this grant was made on the occasion of 
Matilda's marriage, though perhaps it was. Shortly before 
his death Hugh granted all his land of Morgallion and his 
manor of Nobber to Albert, Archbishop of Armagh, and his 
successors : Chartae, &c, p. 24. It is not easy to reconcile 
these grants. There was litigation in 1302 between Matilda's 


before Easter 1281. 1 Hugh's second wife, whom 
he seems to have married late in life, was Emeline, 
daughter and eventual coheiress, with her sister, of 
Walter de Ridelisford, but he had no issue by her. 
She was granted her dower out of Hugh's lands in 
Ireland, ' except the county of Ulster which was to 
be retained in the king's hand \ 2 She was given 
in remarriage to Stephen Longespee, 3 son of the 
Earl of Salisbury who commanded the army 
when King John expelled Hugh de Lacy from 
Ireland. She survived until 1276, when her heir 
to the lands which came to her from her father 
was her daughter by Stephen, then the wife of 
Maurice, second son of Maurice Fitz Gerald. 4 
King John's grant to Hugh de Lacy was ' to him 
and his heirs ', but we do not know the precise 
terms on which Hugh's lands were restored to 
him. 5 His renewed estate may have been limited 
to his life, or to him and his heirs male. It seems 
clear that Hugh left no legitimate male issue, and 
that in any case the resumption of his Ulster 
lands by the Crown was not contested. 

It is, however, stated in some late fourteenth- Title of 
century annals, and has been long supposed, and Bui^lTto 
is asserted even by writers of our own day, that Ulster. 

granddaughter and Nicholas, Archbishop of Armagh, about 
Nobber : Justiciary Rolls, vol. i, pp. 432-9 ; and cf. 
Chartae, &c, p. 40. The issue of the litigation is not clear, 
but the manor passed to Matilda's descendants : Gormanston 
Register, f. 1. 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 1741. 

2 Ibid., vol. i, no. 2663. 

:( Ibid., no. 2600. 4 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 1249. 

5 The king on April 25, 1243, ordered the manor of Nobber 
to be kept in his hand ' until he should be certified regarding 
the agreements made between the king and the earl touch- 
ing that manor and the earl's other lands': Close Roll, 
27 Hen. Ill, p. 23. 


Walter de Burgh succeeded to the earldom of 
Ulster in right of his wife, who was daughter and 
heir of Hugh de Lacy. 1 But contemporary evidence 
is inconsistent with this title. Walter de Burgh 
obtained the county of Ulster under a grant from 
Prince Edward in exchange for the manor of 
Kilsheelan and other Munster lands. 2 This grant 
appears to have been made in 1264, 3 twenty-one 
years after Hugh de Lacy's death, when Walter 
is first called Earl of Ulster. 4 Walter had 
obtained seisin of his Connaught and Munster 
lands in May 1250, after having given security 
that he would not marry without the king's 
licence."' At his death in 1271 his widow was 

1 The statement, which does not appear in the notice of 
Hugh de Lacy's death in Clyn's Annals (1349), appears first 
in a modified form in the Laud MS. Annals (Chart. St. Mary's, 
Dublin, vol. ii, p. 315), where it is simply stated that Hugh 
left a daughter as his heir, whom Walter de Burgh, who 
was Earl of Ulster, married. But the full statement appears 
in Grace's Annals (c. 1537), and was followed by Hanmer 
(ed. 1571), Dowling (ob. 1613), Cox (1690), Ware (ed. 1705), 
Leland (1773), Gilbert, who added new errors of his own 
(1865), Joyce (1893), D'Alton (1910), &c. 

2 Prince Edward's feoffment is mentioned in a letter from 
the king in 1269 : Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 860. It was 
in exchange for the manor of Kilsheelan (ibid., nos. 1520, 
1548), and probably for the vills of Kilfeakle and Clonmel 
and the de Burgo lands in Estermoy (Clanwilliam), which 
thus came into Edward's hand and were granted along 
with Kilsheelan to Otho de Grandison when Richard de la 
Rochelle was justiciar (1261-5). This last-mentioned grant 
was confirmed and extended in 1281 (ibid., no. 1847). 

3 'Walterus de Bourgh factus fuit comes Ultoniae': 
Chronicle of Henry of Marleburghe under the year 1264 ; 
Collectanea Hiberniae, MS. T. C. D., E. 3. 10. 

4 Ann. Loch Ce, 1264. The document in Cal. Docs. Irel., 
vol. i, no. 2551, is altogether misplaced. It should be dated 
1269. The Royal Letter, calendared, ibid., vol. ii, no. 860, 
is the king's reply. See infra, p. 283. 

5 Excerpta Fine Rolls (Roberts), vol. ii, p. 78. 


Avelina, daughter of John Fitz Geoffrey, 1 who was 
justiciar from 1245 to 1256 and died in 1258. 
Richard de Burgh, Walter's son and heir by 
Avelina, was nearly, if not quite, of age in 
January 1280, when he obtained seisin. 2 He 
was born therefore about 1259, and Walter must 
have married Avelina not later than 1258-9, and 
perhaps some years earlier. A previous marriage, 
if such can be supposed to have taken place, with 
a daughter of Hugh de Lacy cannot therefore have 
been the occasion of Walter's obtaining Ulster. 

From the time of Hugh de Lacy's death in the Ulster in 
winter of 1242-3 Ulster was in the king's hand £ he ¥*&* 
and was administered by the king's seneschals up 1243-54. 
to 1254, when with the rest of Ireland it was 
given by the king to his son Edward as part of his 
appanage on his marriage with Eleanor of Castile. 3 
Ulster was then administered by Prince Edward's 
seneschals for a further period of about ten years, 
until it was granted to Walter de Burgh, as 
already mentioned. During the period when 
Ulster was in the king's hand some attempts were 
made to defend the English borders both on the 
east and on the west against the northern chief- 
tains, and to make the king's suzerainty over them 
a reality. In 1245 Maurice Fitz Gerald, with the 

1 Inquis. p. m. on lands and heir of Richard Fitz John, 
27 Ed. I (Cal. Inquis. Ed. I, vol. iii, no. 507), from which 
it appears that Amelina or Avelina, widow of Walter de 
Burgh, and ' of whom was born Richard de Burgh ', was 
sister and one of the heirs of Richard, son of John Fitz 
Geoffrey, to whom the cantred of the Isles (in Thomond) had 
been granted. Cf. Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iv, no. 289. 

- Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, no. 1629. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 326, 371. On July 23, 
1253, all Ulster and its issues were assigned by the king to 
Eleanor the Queen Consort in dower (ibid., no. 255), but 
this assignment was superseded by the giant of 1254. 


aid of Felim O'Conor, erected the castle of Sligo l 
as the manorial centre for his lands in the north 
of Connaught. In the following years, when no 
longer justiciar, Maurice repeatedly invaded Tir- 
connell, which had also been (nominally) granted 
to him by Hugh de Lacy, took hostages and set 
up kings, but the kings he set up proved no more 
amenable than those he had deposed. In 1248 
John Fitz Geoffrey, the justiciar, built a bridge 
across the Bann at Coleraine and erected a castle 
at Drumtarsy (now Killowen) on the western side 
of the river, 2 and, 'since the power of the foreigners 
was over the Gael of Ireland ', the Cinel Owen gave 
hostages to the justiciar. 3 In 1252 Maurice Fitz 
Gerald rebuilt the castle of Caol-uisce on the Erne 
in Fermanagh, while John Fitz Geoffrey rebuilt 
the castle of Moy Cova in Iveagh, Co. Down. 4 At 
the same time Brian O'Neill once more submitted 
to the justiciar and delivered his own brother as 
a hostage. But this submission was no more 
sincere than former ones. Next year Brian de- 
stroyed the castle of Moy Cova and other castles, 
and made a destructive raid into the plain of Down, 
where some undefended towns were burned. 5 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1245. 

2 Ann. Ulst., 1248. For the identification of Drumtarsy 
see Keeves, Colton's Visitation, p. 131. 

3 Ann. Loch Ce, 1248. 

4 The castle of Caol-uisce (i. e. Narrow Water), originally 
built by Gilbert de Nangle in 1212 (ante, vol. ii, p. 289), was 
in Fermanagh (Red Book, f. viii) on the Erne, near its exit 
from the lower lake. Both O'Donovan and Hennessy con- 
fuse it with Narrow Water, Co. Down. The castle of Magh 
Cobha, originally erected by John de Courcy before 1188, 
is almost certainly marked by the great mote of Dromore, 
Co. Down: ante, vol. ii, p. 117 and note, and see Journal 
E. S. A. I., vol. xliv (1914), p. 53. It was clearly the work 
of the justiciar: Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. ii, nos. 32 and 124. 

5 Ann. Loch Ce, 1253 : ocus srdkl bhailedha do loscad. 


For the period during which Prince Edward was Edward 
Dominus Hibemiae there is a marked decrease in jj-™^ 118 
the number of records relating to Ireland, and it niae, 
is therefore difficult to ascertain whether the 1254 - 
change in the administration was responsible for 
bringing about the unrest which undoubtedly 
ensued in the districts occupied by the Mc Carthys, 
the O'Briens, the O'Conors, and the northern 
chieftains. When making over Ireland to his 
son, the king retained to himself the jurisdiction 
concerning the cross-lands, the custodies of vacant 
ecclesiastical benefices, and the rights of the 
Crown in the matter of preferments, and there are 
many mandates from the king touching these. 
He also sent numerous mandates as to the provision 
for Godfrey de Lusignan, his half-brother, of four 
and a half cantreds in Connaught, 1 which, though 
eventually not carried out, probably contributed 
to the unrest in that quarter. But though there 
are many mandates from the prince in 1255 for 
the sending to Gascony of moneys from the issues 
of Ireland and various supplies for his army in 
Gascony, 2 few directions from him touching the 
administration of his new dominion appear on 
the rolls. In July 1255, while still in Gascony, 
Prince Edward sent his seal to Ireland, ' in order ', 
as he says, ' that he who is deputed to the office of 
chancery in that country might use it in his place ', 3 
and in May 1256 the king recalled his own seal, 

The Four Masters turn this into loisctear an Sradbaile, mean- 
ing Dundalk. The ' street-towns ', i. e. undefended towns, 
included some in Dufferin : see Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, 
no. 411. 

1 See supra, p. 233. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 419, 442, 446. 

3 Ibid. 453. Ealph of Norwich was chancellor at this 


and ordered his subjects in Ireland to be intentive 
to Edward's seal as they were wont to be to the 
king's seal. 1 Nevertheless some of the king's 
writs appear to trespass on his son's province, and 
there is no doubt that for some years the king 
kept the government of Ireland under his control, 
while it is probable that many of Edward's writs 
and grants were never enrolled in England and, 
if enrolled in the chancery of Ireland, have been 
lost. 2 

In November 1254 a mandate was sent from 
Bayonne, where the prince was, to Richard de la 
Rochelle, his seneschal in Ireland, to direct his 
attention to the pacification of Ulster, where, as 
we have seen, Brian O'Neill had made a destructive 
raid in the preceding year. The seneschal was 
authorized to take £100 from the prince's treasure 
for that purpose, and ordered to collect retainers 
and an aid from the country and to certify to the 
prince ' on his arrival in Ireland ' the names of 
those persons who refused to come to his peace. 3 
It seems that some further attempt was made to 
pacify O'Neill and that he again nominally sub- 
mitted, for we find, duly entered in a subsequent 
pipe roll, 4 that he owed £100 aid to the king for 
his war in Gascony, and a fine of 3,092 cows, and 
these entries were probably carried forward from 
1254-5. There are several other allusions to 
Edward's intention to visit Ireland and spend 
some time there, but unfortunately, like the good 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 500. 

8 In January 1257 the king superseded a writ of Edward's 
on the ground of informality : ibid., no. 529, and cf. no. 696. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 411, 412. Peter de 
Repenteny was at this time seneschal of Ulster, but Henry de 
Mandeville seems to have held the office in the Twescard. 

4 Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland, Part II. 
plate 73. See infra, pp. 277-8. 


intentions of his father, the programme was never 
carried out. At this moment Edward was of 
course too young and inexperienced to institute 
a wise policy. He had yet to gain his political 
schooling at the hands of his opponents in the 
Barons' War. But had a ruler, such as Edward 
afterwards proved himself to be, given his whole 
attention, even for a short period, to the actual 
business of governing Ireland on the spot, he 
could not have failed to perceive that there were 
several parts of Ireland which required ' pacifica- 
tion' to enable an orderly government to be 
carried on there, and that such pacification was 
not to be produced by the magic of mandates 
from Gascony or even from Westminster, or to be 
enforced by the entry of fines on the pipe roll, but 
that the problem was one calling for the highest 
efforts of statesmanship, backed by adequate 
military power, and guided by principles of justice 
and fair dealing. 

In 1256 Alan la Zuche was justiciar. He had 
been justiciar in the parts of Wales adjoining 
Chester prior to the grant to Edward, and he was 
sent to Ireland on Edward's service about the end 
of March. It was seemingly due to him that the 
attempt to provide for Godfrey de Lusignan at the 
expense of the king of Connaught was abandoned, 
for the Irish annals of that year state that the 
justiciar made peace with Aedh, son of Felim, on 
condition that the territory of O'Conor should not 
be diminished while he was justiciar. 1 This 
arrangement, however, did not prevent Aedh from 
immediately endeavouring to extend the territory 
of O'Conor, both in Connaught and inBreffny,at the 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1256. Alan la Zuche was killed in 
Westminster Hall by Earl Warenne in 1259 : Mat. Paris. 


expense of his neighbours whether Irish or Eng- 
lish. It seems that Edward was now prepared to 
adopt a more spirited policy of his own and con- 
templated the appointment of a justiciar — perhaps 
Walter de Burgh — who would endeavour to curb 
the aggressive tendencies of Felim's son. In June 
1258, having learnt that Edward intended to 
make a justiciar in Ireland and to commit his 
castles to constables without consulting the king, 
Henry took the extreme step of commanding his 
subjects in Ireland not to be intentive to any 
justiciar, constable, or keeper not appointed by the 
king's letters patent. 1 The dispute, however, 
appears to have been amicably settled, and by 
October Stephen Longespee, the king's cousin, 
was justiciar, 2 and the writs of both Henry and 
Edward were directed to him. It was in Stephen's 
time that the disturbances in Munster between 
the McCarthys of Carbury and the English settlers 
broke out. In 1259 Fineen, son of Donnell Got 
McCarthy, raided Kerry, and probably it was in 
consequence of this that the Lord Edward on 
November 7 of that year made the grant of Decies 
and Desmond to John Fitz Thomas in the hope 
that he would be able to control the Irish there. 
But, as we have seen, 3 the effort ended disastrously 
in the battle of Callann. 

Meanwhile a greater danger threatened the 

English in the north of Ireland. Following upon 

O'Neill's incursion over the eastern border of the 

O'Donnell Irish territories, Goffraigh O'Donnell in 1257 

attacks penetrated into the Geraldine district in the 

1257.' west, razed the castle of Caol-uisce, burned the 

1 Foedera, vol. i, p. 373. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 600. 

3 Supra, p. 140. 


town of Sligo, and in a fight at Credran in the 
Rosses, in which he was sorely wounded, routed 
a pursuing body of the English. 1 The northern 
chieftains in fact were determined to resist the 
extension of English rule and to maintain their 
independence, but, unfortunately for their objects, 
the kindred clan-groups were fired with greater 
animosity against each other than against the 
foreigners, and this feeling precluded all possibility 
of joint action. When in 1258 O'Donneli was 
lying on his death-bed from the wounds he had 
received at the battle of Credran, O'Neill took 
advantage of his hapless plight to demand the 
submission of the Cinel Connell. But though 
O'Donnell's body was stricken unto death, his 
spirit was unbroken. Borne on a bier at the head 
of his men he defeated the Cinel Owen on the 
banks of the Swilly, and soon afterwards died ' the 
death of a hero who had at all times triumphed 
over his enemies \ 2 Once more O'Neill demanded 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1257. The statement in Four Masters 
that O'Donneli and Maurice Fitz Gerald, who is spoken of 
as being the justiciar, met in single combat and severely 
wounded each other, is certainly inaccurate and probably 
without foundation. Maurice, who had not been justiciar 
since 1245, died in 1257 in the habit of a monk at the 
Franciscan Friary of Youghal, which he had founded (Clyn 
and Dowling). His obit is entered before O'Donnell's raid in 
the older Irish annals, and they make no mention of the 
single combat or of his presence. According to Matthew 
Paris he died before Ascension, 1257, i.e. before May 27. 
Maurice obtained seisin in 1216, and must have been at 
least sixty-two years of age in 1257. He had given his lands 
in Sligo, Fermanagh, and Tirconnell to his son Maurice some 
time before his death : Ked Book, f. viii ; and see Journal 
E. S. A. I., vol. xliv (1914), p. 107, where the deed of 
enfeoffment is transcribed and explained. 

2 Ann. Ulst, vol. ii, p. 324, MS. D, note ; and Four 
Masters, 1258. 

2361 M S 


the hostages of the Cinel Connell, and while the 
petty chiefs were deliberating what they should do, 
for they had no lord since Goffraigh O'Donnell's 
Donnell death, Donnell Og O'Donnell, youngest son of 
o% r< ri 1StS Donnell Mor, a youth of only eighteen years, 
appeared amongst them on his return from 
Scotland, where he had been fostered by the Lord 
of the Isles. His coming at this crisis is likened 
by the annalist to the coming of Tuathal Techtmar 
over the sea from Alban, in the penumbral period 
of Irish story, after the extirpation of the royal 
race of Erin by the servile tribes. The chieftain- 
ship was immediately conferred on Donnell Og, 
and he proudly rejected O'Neill's demands, reply- 
ing to his emissaries, in the words of a Scottish 
proverb, that 'every man should have his own 
world \ l In this retort the very spirit of the clans 
found utterance, a spirit incompatible with political 

And yet it was political unity that O'Neill sought 
to bring about. At this very time he was trying 
to form a confederacy of the Gael against the 
English, and to revive in his own person the long- 
lapsed office of Ard-ri. He had before his eyes 
the successful example of Llewelyn, who had 
recently united the Welsh people in both the north 
and the south of the ancient principality and had 
Con- assumed the title of Prince of Wales. With 
ference a \fe e object in view, Brian held a conference at 
uisce, Caol-uisce, but the attempt was doomed to failure. 
1258. Aedh O'Conor, the warrior son of Felim, king of 
Connaught, and virtual leader of the Sil Murray 
clans, submitted to him and gave him hostages on 
condition of getting a free hand in Breffny, 2 but it 

1 Ann. Ulst, vol. ii, p. 325, MS. D, note; and Four 
Masters, 1258. 

2 Ann. Loch Ce, 1258. 


is clear that neither Conor O'Brien, king of 
Thomond, as represented at the conference by his 
warlike son Teig, nor Donnell Og, the youthful 
chieftain of Tirconnell, would consent to sub- 
ordinate himself to O'Neill. Teig indeed is said 
to have insisted on obtaining the position of Ard-ri 
for himself, while O'Donnell, as we have seen, had 
rejected O'Neill's demands and held aloof from 
the confederacy. 

The outcome of this conference appeared in 
1260, when Brian O'Neill, described as ' King of 
the Gael of Erin ', supported by Aedh O'Conor, 
advanced as far as Drumderg near Downpatrick, Battle of 
and there on Sunday, May 14, met with ' a terrible JjJJ? 1 ' 
defeat' at the hands of the English of Down. 1 
Brian himself was killed, and with him fell ' many 
of the best ' of Tirowen and Connaught. Brian 
indeed had little title to be regarded as king of the 
Gael. Not only was he not joined by the southern 
Irish, but it would seem that even in his own 
province he had a rival 2 and was not supported 
by the chieftains of Tirconnell, Fermanagh, or 
Irish Uriel (with the exception of O'Hanlon), 
while the Irish of Eastern Ulster held aloof or 
opposed him. The confederacy was defeated, not 
by the feudal host, which was not summoned, but 
by ' local levies of the commonalty of the city and 
county of Down ' under the leadership of Sir 
Roger des Auters and the mayor of that city. 3 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, Ann. Ulst., 1260. For the precise date 
see Clyn's Annals. 

2 In 1259 Aedh Buidhe O'Neill, Brian's rival and suc- 
cessor, had accompanied O'Donnell in a devastating raid 
through Tirowen and Irish Uriel : Four Masters, 1259, Ann. 
Ulst., vol. ii, p. 327, note. 

3 See the king's letter to his son : Cal. Docs. Ireland, 
vol. ii, no. 661. The statement, frequently made, that O'Neill 
was defeated by the justiciar Stephen Longespee, is not 

S 2 



These leaders were accordingly rewarded by grants 
of land. 1 But though O'Neill's attempt thus 
signally failed, the combination of the kings of 
Tirowen and Connaught was the most formidable 
native effort that the English in Ulster had to 
Dirge on meet in the thirteenth century. Brian's death is 
lamented in a remarkable dirge 2 by Gilbride Mac 
Namee, hereditary bard of the O'Neills, com- 
mencing with the following quatrain (translated) : 

Death of my heart ! The head of Brian 
In a strange country under cold clay ! 
O head of Brian of Slieve Snaght, 3 
Eire after thee is an orphan ! 

It is not without other pathetic verses, but, as 
the editor remarks, the victories of O'Neill and 
his ancestors, of which the bard proudly boasts, 
were mostly gained in their own province over 
their immediate neighbours and kindred. The 
principal exception was the winter raid of Mur- 
tough ' of the Leather Coats ', who in the year 942 
carried off the king of Leinster and made chess- 
men of his bones, exacted tribute from the Danes, 
fettered the king of Cashel, burned the palace of 
Kincora, and carried captive the king of Con- 

found in any early authority and is inconsistent with the 
above letter. It appears to have originated in the blunder 
of a copyist. In the Laud MS. Annals under the year 1259 
are two entries : ' Stephanus de Longa Spata venit iusticiarius 
Hibernie. Item, interfectus est Oneyl apud Doune'. Of 
these entries Dowling makes one : ' Stephanus de longe espee 
iusticiarius Hibernie anno 42 Henrici 3 interfecit O'Nel cum 
352 eius familiaribus in vico de Down '. Subsequent writers 
seem to have blindly followed him. 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, nos. 677-8. 

2 Miscellany, Celtic Society, pp. 146-183. 

3 Sliabh SneacMa (Mons nivium), a mountain in Inishowen. 


naught. 1 If this was the model that Brian had in 
view in his effort to make himself Ard-ri, Ireland 
was happy in the battle of Down. The poem 
indeed affords an instructive insight into the 
limits of the patriotism which animated the Irish 
clans — limits which effectually barred the way to 
Irish unity. The contemporary dirge by Fearghal 
Og Mac an Bhaird on the deaths of the O'Cahans 2 
slain in the same battle, though a slighter effort, 
is more full of tender human touches. The bard 
sorrows most for his foster-brothers, Maghnus and 
Eachmarcach O'Cahan, and dwells with fond 
memory on the days when in their sports they 
used to place Maghnus on a mound and inaugurate 
him as their chieftain, while Eachmarcach (i. e. 
1 horse-rider ') would be a horse to carry the 
hereditary bard as his rider thrice round the 
mound. It is curious, too, to note that as the body 
of O'Cahan was not recognized among the slain, 
the bard supposes that the fairies may have carried 
him off : 

In fairy mound west or east, 

Who knows but he may still be living ! 

and he quotes traditional examples of fairy 

The Irish Pipe Roll for the year 1260-1 '■ — one 
of the few for the reign of Henry III which has 
been preserved — throws some light on the profits Accounts 
of the lordship of Ulster, then in Prince Edward's fom-^*' 
hands, and on the relations with Brian O'Neill 
and other Irish chieftains. The farm of Ulster, 

1 See the ' Circuit of Ireland, by Muircheartach Mac Neill ', 
in Tracts, vol. i, Irish Archaeological Society. 

2 Miscellany, Celtic Society, pp. 404-14. 

3 See Facsimiles of National MSS. (Ireland), part ii, plate 73. 


except the Twescard or northern part of County 
Antrim, then in separate custody, was let to the 
seneschal, Nicholas de Dunheved, at 300 marks 
a year. Accordingly there are no entries of rents 
paid, but the account consists mainly of fines for 
defaults, trespasses, &c, both English and Irish. 
Brian O'Neill appears to have held the territory of 
Tirowen subject to a rent of 400 cows, which may 
be regarded as equivalent to £66 13s. 4rf. 1 But 
this rent was very irregularly paid, as eight years 
arrears are debited to him. He is also charged 
with £100 aid to the king for his war in Gascony 
(1253-4), and ' 3,092 cows of a fine made with the 
justiciar ' — probably with John Fitz Geoffrey, in 
consequence of Brian's raid into Ulidia in 1253, 
when the castle of Moy Cova was destroyed. 
These were clearly bad debts. Some of the Irish 
chieftains of Ulidia — Mac Guiness, Mac Artain, 
Mac Duilechain, &c. — were debited with smaller 
fines in cows. 

For the Twescard there is the more detailed 
account of Henry de Mandeville, the custos, for 
the four terms ending November 1, 1262.- From 
this district in the north of County Antrim, 
corresponding probably to the Deanery of Twes- 
card in the ecclesiastical organization, the custodian 
accounts for the considerable sum of £464 9s. 4d 
It had evidently been well settled by the Normans 
and was in a prosperous condition ; and this 
conclusion is borne out by the ecclesiastical 
taxation of 1302-6, when the churches of the 

1 From another entry it appears that 3s. 4d was the 
equivalent of a cow. 

2 Exact information regarding the Norman settlement in 
Ulster in the thirteenth century is so scanty that I have 
given an abstract of this account, with some elucidatory 
notes, as an appendix to this chapter. 


deanery were valued at £217, while the deanery 
of Lecale, the next highest in Ulidia, yielded only 
£108. The principal town was Coleraine, where 
the burgage rent was £23. There were manors 
at or including the places now known as Port- 
stewart, Portrush, Bushmills, Dunluce, Dun- 
severick, Armoy, Mount Sandal, and Loughguile. 
The last-named was an important manor, seem- 
ingly belonging to the Savage family, but now, 
during a minority, set to farm at £64 a year. 
The inland portion of the Twescard was largely 
held by the free- tenants of this manor. The issues 
of the lord's mills and of the fisheries of the Bann 
were very lucrative. 

About this time, seemingly just before O'Neill's Repairs to 
attempt, repairs were effected at some of the castles - 
principal castles of Ulster. Timber was brought 
to make hurdicia (wooden galleries) for defending 
the walls of Greencastle at Narrow Water. The 
hall of the keep (aula turris) was roofed with 
shingles, but lead brought from Drogheda was 
also employed. At Carlingford quarried stone 
and lime-mortar was used for the works at the 
castle. Freestone was brought from Down and 
iron from Drogheda to repair the gates and door- 
ways of the castle of Rath (Dundrum). 1 

In October 1261 Richard de la Rochelle, Prince 
Edward's former seneschal, was appointed justiciar 
in succession to William de Dene, who died soon 
after the defeat at Callann, and in the course of 
the succeeding year, supported by Walter de 
Burgh, he led two expeditions, one to punish 
Aedh, son of Felim 'Conor, for his share in the 

1 Pipe Roll (Ireland), 46 Hen. Ill, account of Robert 
Gelous of money received at the Exchequer, Hilary 1260 ; 
see Rep. Record Commissioners of Ireland, vol. i, plate 2 
(between pp. 56 and 57). 


battle of Down, and the other to check the 
Mac Carthys, who since the battle of Callann were 
carrying all before them in Desmond. By the 
former expedition the site of a castle at Eos- 
common was marked out, indicating the meditated 
confiscation of some land there, but peace for the 
moment was made with Aedh. By the latter 
expedition Cormac Mac Carthy, brother of Fineen, 
was slain. 1 
Walter de But from about this time and for some years 
Burgh ^he i orc i f Ireland was too much engrossed with 

111 f)np 

Earl of the serious state of affairs in England to pay due 
Ulster, attention to his Irish dominion, and this may 
have induced him to revive the earldom of Ulster 
and put that part of Ireland in the hands of 
Walter de Burgh, who had showed himself an 
able and energetic supporter of the justiciar. 
Early in 1264 hostilities broke out between the 
barons who followed Simon de Montfort and the 
royalists, and on May 14 was fought the battle of 
Lewes, which left the king a prisoner in Earl 
Simon's hands, while soon afterwards Prince 
Edward surrendered himself as a hostage for the 
good behaviour of the marcher lords. From this 
date up to the battle of Evesham (August 4, 1265) 
the royal authority was in commission, and the 
few more important writs concerning Ireland, 
though issued in Henry's name, must be regarded 
as carrying out the will of Earl Simon. 2 It would 
have been strange if there were no echo in Ireland 
of the Barons' War. The Irish annals for 1264, 

1 Ann. Loch Ce, 1262, and see ante, pp. 239 and 142. 

2 Thus on September 24, 1264, the king, with the consent 
of his son, commands Walter de Burgh and others to give 
seisin to the Earl of Gloucester, who had just come of age, 
and who at this time was one of Earl Simon's principal 
supporters : Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 750. 


with customary exaggeration of phraseology, speak His quar- 
of ' a great war between Mac William Burk (i. e. i'? 1 W1 . th 
the new Earl of Ulster) and Mac Gerailt (i. e. f.Maurice. 
Maurice Fitz Maurice), so that the greater part of 
Erin was destroyed by them'. When dealing 
with affairs in Connaught at this period we gave 
an account of this quarrel, and of the disturbances 
that followed the imprisonment of the justiciar, 
Richard de la Rochelle, and others, and we indi- 
cated the probable cause of this unprecedented act 
of violence on the part of the Geraldines. 1 Here it 
may be noted that the disturbance in Ireland 
should probably not be altogether dissociated from 
the revolutionary movement which had just taken 
place in England. In their action against Lord 
Edward's justiciar and his newly created earl, 
the Geraldines were following at a distance the 
example of Simon de Montfort, if they were 
not actually instigated by him. Maurice Fitz 
Maurice indeed, as was shown, probably had some 
personal dispute about his Connaught and Ulster 
lands with Walter de Burgh. His father had 
held both Sligo and Tirconnell under grants from 
Hugh de Lacy, and Maurice may have claimed to 
hold them independently of Earl Walter. The 
justiciar would probably decide against this claim 
on legal grounds, and in the general anarchy of 
the moment Maurice and his kindred may have 
seen an opportunity of asserting his supposed 
rights by force. It seems, however, clear that 
Earl Simon was anxious to replace Edward's 
justiciar. On February 16, the king, presumably 
at the earl's instance, wrote to Fulk de Saunford, 
Archbishop of Dublin, referring to the disturbances 
likely to occur owing to the discord prevailing 

1 Supra, pp. 241-4. 


among the magnates of Ireland and praying him 
to undertake the office of justiciar. 1 On March 19 
Roger Waspail was sent over on a confidential 
message, and the archbishop was to certify the 
state of Ireland and ' how the magnates bear them- 
selves in regard to their fealty ' ; 2 and on May 6 
Richard de la Rochelle was summoned to the 
king, and the custody of Ireland was entrusted to 
Roger Waspail, assisted by the counsel of the 
Archbishop and the Bishop of Meath. 3 

On May 28 Prince Edward escaped from 
custody and went over to the marcher lords, with 
whom Earl Gilbert of Gloucester was now acting, 
and on June 10 more peremptory letters were 
sent by the king and the Earl of Leicester (who 
was evidently their real author) to the prelates of 
Ireland, and to Walter de Burgh, Maurice Fitz 
Gerald, Maurice Fitz Maurice, Richard de la 
Rochelle, and Geoffrey de Geynville, stating that 
Edward, the king's son, ' at the instigation of him 
who strives to sow the seeds of discord ' (meaning 
apparently the Earl of Gloucester), had against 
the ordinance and his own oath gone over to 
certain marchers and rebels, and had therefore, 
according to the rigour of the law, forfeited his 
right to the kingdom and to all his demesnes, 
and commanding that the recipients be intentive 
to Hugh, Bishop of Meath, as justiciar, and do 
not aid or obey Edward or his bailiffs. 4 On 

1 Cal. Pat. Eolls, 49 Hen. Ill, p. 406. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 766. 

3 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 49 Hen. Ill, p. 422. The entry in Cal. 
Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 727, summoning Eichard de la 
Rochelle and also Geoffrey de Geynville, Walter de Burgh, 
and Maurice Fitz Maurice to the king, seems to be misplaced, 
and should apparently be dated May 5, 1265. 

4 Cal. Pat. Roll, 49 Hen. Ill, p. 432. 


August 4, however, the battle of Evesham restored 
the royal power, Richard de la Rochelle appears 
still as justiciar, 1 and the government of Ireland 
was carried on (or neglected) much as before the 
recent changes. 

In 1269 Thomas de Liddell, Bishop of Down, Quarrel 
complained to the king that he was harassed by J^ the f 
Walter de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, with un- Down, 
precedented exactions, and that because the 
bishop would not answer in the earl's court, the 
earl had given judgement despoiling him of his 
manors. The bishop, after stating that ' from the 
first coming of the English into Ulster the king's 
name had been commemorated in each mass 
throughout the Down diocese, where there are 
more priests and religious than in any other part 
of equal dimensions in Ireland', threatened that if 
the king did not speedily find a remedy he would 
leave his diocese under an interdict and seek 
a remedy at the court of Rome. 2 In response to 
this appeal the king peremptorily commanded the 
earl to desist from his oppressions and restore 
to the bishop the amerciaments he had taken. 

During Earl Walter's time there was peace 
throughout his Ulster lands. In Connaught, as 
we have seen, :! nothing could restrain the bellicose 
spirit of Aedh, son of Felim, now, in 1265, king 
of Connaught in succession to his father ; and 
with him Walter de Burgh came into frequent 

1 Eichard de la Eochelle was still justiciar in April 1266 • 
(ibid., no. 793). He was superseded by David de Barry by 
Michaelmas 1266: 35th Eep. D. K., p. 48. 

- Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2551, where the entry is 
entirely misplaced. The bishop's election was finally con- 
firmed on November 5, 1266 (ibid., vol. ii, no. 804), and the 
king's answer to his complaint is dated December 22, 1269 : 
ibid., no. 860. 

3 See supra, p. 243 et seq. 


Relations conflict. But the relations of the earl with Aedh 
Hu\bo Buidhe O'Neill, the new king of the Cinel Owen, 
O'Neill. " were friendly. Aedh Buidhe, or Hugh Boy, 
i. e. ' Hugh the Yellow ', was eponymous ancestor 
of the Clannaboy (Clan Aedlw Buidhe) O'Neills, 
who about the middle of the next century occupied 
part of Eastern Ulster. 1 He had recently married 
a cousin of Earl Walter, and in 1265 accompanied 
him in an expedition into Tirconnell. 2 A docu- 
ment dated October 2, 1269, which by a rare 
chance has survived, 3 shows the subordinate 
position of the king of the Cinel Owen relative 
to the Earl of Ulster at this time. It indicates 
that the debts of cows due from Brian O'Neill in 
the account already quoted were not exceptional, 
and prepares us for the position held by subsequent 
Ulster chieftains as stated in the inquisition of 
1333. This document is in Latin, and the material 
parts are thus rendered : ' 53 Hen. Ill, Oct. 2, 
Antrim. Odo Onel Rex Kenlean (Aedh O'Neill, 
King of Cenel Eoghain) is bound to the nobleman, 
his lord W. de Burgh, Earl of Ulster and lord of 
Connaught, in 3,500 cows to be paid as follows . . . 
And he is bound to deliver to the said earl four 
hostages. ... If he cannot do this, then he is 
bound to return and revert to the said earl and 
subject himself in all things to his person and 

1 See Journal E. S. A. I., vol. xlv (1915), pp. 132-7. 
Aedh Buidhe was descended from Aedh O'Neill, nicknamed 
Macamh Toinlesc, who was king of Cinel Owen for a time in 
1177: Ann. Ulst., vol. ii, p. 186, and Four Masters, 1281. 

2 Ann. Ulst., vol. ii, p. 339, Four Masters, 1265. 

3 It is among the MSS. of Lord de L'Isle and Dudley, 
H. M. C, 3rd Eep., p. 231. In the same collection is a 
document which, though corrupt, appears to be a bond of 
about the same date from M. O'Flynn, king of Tuirtri, to 
assist Hugh Bissett to recover a cattle-spoil from Eachmarcach 
O'Kane, king of Keenaght. 


will. And he has promised to bind himself under 
pain of excommunication to keep Aleanor his 
wife, cousin of the said earl, 1 honourably and 
faithfully, furnishing her with necessaries ; and 
all her rights, as well in lands as goods, which 
are considered to belong to her according to the 
use and custom of his country, he will cause to be 
rendered to her. To keep this agreement he has 
sworn on holy relics to the earl. If he break the 
agreement the earl may drive him from his 
regality, which he is bound to hold of him, and 
give or sell it to any one else.' 

Earl Walter died in Galway Castle in the year Death of 
1271, when he was only about forty-two years of ^J. 
age. Though he had failed to restrain the turbu- 
lence of Aedh, son of Felim, in Connaught, by 
supporting Aedh Buidhe O'Neill against his rivals 
of the house of Brian O'Neill and against his 
powerful neighbour O'Donnell, he had gained an 
unwonted control in Tirowen, and apparently 
over the whole province, 2 and had laid the 
foundation for the great power afterwards wielded 
over the northern chieftains by his more famous 

1 The relationship appears to have been as follows : Aedh 
married a 'daughter of [Miles] McCostello'(Ann. Ulst., 1263, 
vol. ii, p. 337), and Miles Mc Costello's wife was 'daughter of 
the earl of Ulster ', i. e. Hugh de Lacy (Ann. Loch Ce, 1253). 
Walter de Burgh's mother was Egidia, daughter of Walter 
de Lacy, Hugh's brother. Therefore Walter de Burgh and 
Eleanor Mc Costello were second cousins. 

2 Earl Walter's widow Avelina was endowed (inter alia) 
with five castles in the inarches and almost all the homages 
of the Irish of Ulster : see Cal. Patent Eolls, 1 Ed. II, p. 7. 


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The Account of Henry de Mandeville, custos of Twes- 
card, for the four terms ending November 1, 1262, 
abstracted from Pipe Roll (Ireland), 19 Henry III, with 

The rents from the places named and other issues were 
as follows : 

£ s. d. 

' Dundrif ' (probably for Dunlif, 1 now 

Dunluce) 26 13 4 

' Dunsumery ' (probably Dunseverick, 
the Irish Dun sobhairche), includ- 
ing 87^ crannocks of oatmeal sold 

for £5 168. 8 / 17 

and one mark of the old increase . 13 4 

' Portkaman' (now included in the parish 
of Dunluce to the west of the river 
Bush 2 ) . . .' . . . 20 

' Portros ' (Portrush, i. e. the parish of 

Ballywillin) 40 

Land in 'Villa Ohatheran' 3 (now Agher- 
ton or Ballyaghran parish) for 
three terms when it was assigned 
to Robert de Beumes . . . 3 

' Villa que vocatur La Pere ' (i. e. La 
Pierre, perhaps Ballyclogh, ' the 

1 The name appears in the inquisition of 1333 as ' Dunde- 
lyff'. The castle is called caislen dilin-libsi in Ann. Ulst. , 
vol. hi, p. 510, and dun Lipsi in Ann. Loch Ce, vol. ii, 
p. 464. It was latinized by Colgan ' Dunlifsia '. The Four 
Masters, vol. v, p. 1324, have caislen dhuinlis. 

2 Reeves, Eccl. Ant., p. 77. 

3 ' O'Haugharn's land ' was confiscated after the battle of 
Down, 1260 (Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 677), and was 
granted by Prince Edward, under the form ' Hochageran ', 
to Robert de Beumes (de Bello Manso) : ibid., nos. 1782, 
1976. It appears as ' Hathrantone ' in the Ecclesiastical 
Taxation, and as ' Harggdon ' in the inquisition of 1333. 


town of the stone ' or ' stones ', in £ s. d. 
the parish of Dunluce . . . 4 

' Villa Ossandali ' (perhaps Mount San- 
dall, 1 a promontory fort near the 
Salmon Leap on the Bann) . . 10 13 4 

' Erthermoy ' (Airther - maiglie, the 

parish of Armoy) . . . 20 

1 Ardbegan ' (part of the possessions of 
the Dominican Friary of Coleraine 
at the dissolution) . . . . 2 13 4 

Burgages of ' Coulrath ' (Cuil rathain, 

Coleraine) 23 8 

'Villa monasterii' (probably the church- 
lands 2 formerly belonging to the 
monastery of Coleraine) . . 4 

' Drumtarsy ' (now Killowen, a parish 
to the west of the Bann adjoining 
Coleraine) . . . . 16 

' Loch Kel ' (Loughguile 3 ) with the de- 
mesnes thereof set to farm . . 64 11 4 

Increase thereof . . . . . 16 6 

From Henry de Mandeville for two 

carucates in Drumtarsy . . 2 

For 410 crannocks of the greater hun- 
dred measure of oatmeal of the 
issues of the mills of Twescard and 
of the mill of Ohatheran . . 147 

Issues of the fishery of the Bann . . 40 6 8 

1 Mount Sandall was probably the site of the castle of 
Kilsantan or CM Santail erected by John de Courcy on the 
Bann near Coleraine in 1197: ante, vol. ii, p. 135, and see 
English Historical Keview, vol. xxii (1907), p. 443. 

2 For these church lands, which had been occupied by the 
Anglo-Normans, Hugh de Lacy in 1241 granted to Albert of 
Cologne, archbishop of Armagh, as compensation, the manor 
of Nobber in Meath : Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, 
pp. 24, 40. 

3 This important manor was, I think, in the ju'ince's hand 
during the minority of Henry le Savage, who died in 1277 
(Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 1328, where the extent 
£63 10s. 4cZ. is given). Lisanoure Castle marks the manorial 

22811 T 


Issues of the fishery of the Lynne (i. e. £ s. d. 
the Salmon Leap, now called the 
Cutts of Coleraine) : see Cal. Pat. 
Koll (Ireland), 5 Rich. II, no. 151 . 16 8 

Land which Alan de Logan holds in 
' Drumgenath ' and ' Drumcarbri ' 
which before the last year was 
waste ...... 15 

Pleas and perquisites . . . . 19 19 2 

Total [correct] £464 9 4 





Henry III died on November 16, 1272. During Extension 
his long reign of fifty-six years the area of Anglo- Norman" 
Norman rule in Ireland had been greatly extended, rule in 
The earldom of Ulster had been strengthened, JJ?I!!7' 8 
and the earl's influence began to assert itself over 
the northern kings. The conquest of Connaught 
had been finally effected, and the sway of her 
native kings was restricted to a broad belt about 
the upper reaches of the Shannon. A beginning 
was made of the occupation of a portion of 
Thomond. The barons of County Limerick had 
established a strong colony in Kerry, and with 
those of County Cork had erected castles on 
advantageous sites beside the natural harbours of 
the south and south-west coasts, and in some 
inland places. The barons of Ireland were seldom 
interfered with by the government. They were 
in general loyal to the Crown — -too loyal it may be 
thought in the affair of Richard Marshal — and the 
king had no conflict with them comparable to 
that which arose with the barons of England 
during his reign. With the exception of the 
long-drawn-out contest in Connaught, there was 
no serious conflict between the Crown and the 
native kings up to the year 1260, and in spite of 
local disturbances the wealth and trade and 
general prosperity of Ireland had greatly increased. 

T 2 


Disaf- In the latter part of Henry's reign, however, 

towards while England was distracted by the struggle 
its close, between the Crown and the baronage, disaffection 
among the native princes came to a head in the 
north, south, and west of Ireland. In the north 
there was the futile attempt of Brian O'Neill to 
revive the high-kingship of Erin. In the south 
there was the more effective movement of Fineen 
Mc Carthy to resist the encroachments of the 
Munster barons into Desmond. In Thomond the 
O'Briens were beginning to be restive, while in 
Connaught nothing could restrain the turbulence 
of Aedh O'Conor, which threatened to revive the 
former anarchy. 
Three In estimating Henry's personal influence on 

periods of affairs in Ireland it is necessary to distinguish 
ie reign. ^ lree periods of his reign in which that influence 
had very different weights. First the period of 
about ten years from his accession (October 28, 
1216), when he was only nine years old, to the 
beginning of 1227, when, having declared himself 
to be of legal age, he announced before a council 
at Oxford that from henceforth, freed from ward- 
ship, he would take a leading part in directing 
the affairs of the Crown. 1 During this period the 
civil government was controlled at first by William 
Marshal, and after his death by Hubert de Burgh, 
and the king's influence was practically negligible. 
Secondly, the period of twenty-seven years from 
his coming of age to February 1254, when he 
granted Ireland, together with the other outlying 
possessions of the Crown, to his son Edward on 
the occasion of his marriage. During this period 
the king was legally his own master, but for the 
first few years he was clearly much influenced by 

1 Roger of Wend over (Coxe), vol. iv, p. 139. 


Hubert de Burgh, and afterwards at times by his 
foreign advisers. Nevertheless, it was mainly 
during these years that his personal influence on 
Irish policy made itself felt. Lastly, the period 
of eighteen years, from February 1254 to his 
death. During this time Prince Edward as 
Dominus Hiberniae was primarily responsible. 
Henry, however, not only kept throughout ecclesi- 
astical affairs in his own hands, but, especially at 
first, naturally advised most of the measures taken 
in his son's name, and even occasionally super- 
seded his son's orders. Moreover, it must be 
remembered that from the time of the battle of 
Lewes (May 14, 1264) to that of the battle of 
Evesham (August 4, 1265), the royal power was 
practically in abeyance, or was exercised by 
direction of Simon de Montfort. 

Henry's defects as a ruler in Ireland were Defects ne 
negative rather than positive. From the time a ruler, 
when the Regency, which managed things better, 
came to an end, neglect of kingly duty, instability 
of purpose, and lack of any consistent policy 
marked his government. In July and August 
1233, he made elaborate preparations for an 
armed expedition to Ireland, but at the last 
moment he announced that he had ' changed his 
purpose'. 1 The change at this time was, no 
doubt, occasioned by the quarrel with Richard 
Marshal now coming to a head. In ensuing 
years, however, Henry repeatedly referred to his 
intention to visit Ireland, and in September 1240 
he announced ' his firm purpose ' to go after the 
following Easter, and ordered his manors and 
castles to be provisioned, and his houses to be 
repaired and improved. 2 In April 1243, with 

1 CjiI. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, pp. 305-6. 

2 Close Koll, 24 Hen. Ill, p. 225. 


a view to his long postponed visit, he ordered 
a hall to be constructed in the castle of Dublin, 
120 feet in length and 80 feet in breadth, with 
glazed windows after the manner of the hall of 
Canterbury. There was to be a round window, 
30 feet in diameter, in the gable beyond the dais, 
a painting of the king and queen sitting with 
their baronage, and a great portal at the entrance 
of the hall. 1 All this was characteristic of Henry's 
artistic proclivities, of which we can see proofs in 
parts of Westminster Abbey and elsewhere. In 
January 1244 he ordered the work to be stopped, 
'because he was much in want of money'. 2 In 
November 1245 he ordered the hall to be com- 
pleted with a supply of water in a pipe from the 
city conduit, ' so that at the approaching summer 
he might find the hall complete ' 3 — but the king 
never set foot in Ireland. 

In not even visiting his Irish dominion, Henry's 
example was too often followed by his successors 
on the throne, most of whom had still less excuse 
for this neglect of kingly duty ; but in his attitude 
towards the great outstanding event of his time 
in Ireland, the confiscation, conquest, and partition 
of Connaught, the defect of instability of purpose 
is more strikingly illustrated, and its consequences 
were fraught with more serious evils. In 1226, 
while still under the influence of Hubert de Burgh, 
he replaced the younger William Marshal, who, 

1 Close Roll, 27 Hen. Ill, p. 23. One of the charges made, 
c. 1285, against Stephen de Fulburne, bishop of Waterford 
and justiciar of Ireland, concerned ' the pillars of marble 
taken from the king's hall in the castle of Dublin and 
carried to Dunbro', the bishop's manor in Co. Dublin : Cal. 
Docs. Ireland, vol. iii, p. 13. 

2 Ibid., 28 Hen. Ill, p. 152. 

3 Cal. Patent Rolls, 30 Hen. Ill, p. 467. 


both as soldier and as statesman, had just success- 
fully dealt with the dangerous situation arising 
out of Hugh de Lacy's return, by the appointment 
as justiciar of the already discredited Geoffrey de 
Marisco, and he authorized Geoffrey and Hubert's 
nephew, Richard de Burgh, to carry out the 
latter's design for the overthrow of the king of 
Connaught. Six years later, when the conquest 
of Connaught had been all but accomplished, he 
abandoned his old minister Hubert to his enemies, 
and with him Richard de Burgh, and, while 
giving Felim O'Conor a free hand in Connaught, 
prepared to hand over the government of the 
whole kingdom to the Poitevins. When compelled 
by the English barons, headed by Edmund, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, to dismiss the Poitevins, he 
once more took Richard de Burgh into favour for 
no better reason than because he had been 
instrumental in bringing about the tragic death of 
Richard Marshal, and once more threw over the 
king of Connaught, thus by his shifty policy 
prolonging the turmoil in that province. With 
similar caprice Henry, in 1245, dismissed Maurice 
Fitz Gerald after thirteen years loyal service as 
justiciar, apparently because he was mortified at 
his own want of success against David of Wales, 
in the region of Conway, and must needs find 
a scapegoat to carry his sins. Finally, in 1254, 
he handed over Ireland to his inexperienced son 
without making effective provision for his residing 
there or paying due attention to its affairs, but 
having first characteristically attempted to make 
an impossible provision for his Lusignan half- 
brother at the expense of the much-tried king of 
Connaught. In making the youthful Edward 
Dominus Hibemiae, Henry was following the 
unfortunate example of his grandfather, and in 


both cases the motive seems to have been to make 
a family provision out of what was regarded as 
the private property of the Crown, rather than to 
select a suitable governor to forward the public 
interests of the country to be governed. Edward 
was, however, a very different man from John, 
and had he been given Ireland alone, and taken 
up his residence there, the consequences would 
probably have been very different ; but he was 
given Gascony and Wales (not to speak of other 
places) as well, and these countries preoccupied 
his energies. 
Henry's But in spite of these capricious changes the 
justiciars. b arons f Ireland had no reason to complain of 
Henry's justiciars. They were men who spent 
most if not all of their lives in Ireland, who held 
lands there and had the interests of the colony at 
heart, and who, if they took little thought of the 
interests of the native Irish population, at least 
understood them and their ways as no official fresh 
from England could do. Though Geoffrey de 
Marisco undoubtedly was more careful to feather 
his own nest than to safeguard the rights of the 
Crown, there is no reason to suppose that he 
neglected the interests of his peers. Archbishop 
Henry de Londres, while very zealous in further- 
ing the wealth and power of his see, was a more 
watchful guardian of the revenue of the king, and 
indeed caused some irritation by his activities on 
behalf of the Church and the Crown. He was 
superseded by Earl William Marshal, because a 
military commander was needed to quell the dis- 
turbance caused by Hugh de Lacy. Once order 
was effectively restored, the Earl Marshal showed 
a wise statesmanship in enabling Hugh de Lacy, 
on giving adequate security for his loyalty, to 
recover his confiscated lands ; but he was opposed 


to the new policy of the confiscation of Connaught 
and had to give way to less scrupulous men. 
Richard de Burgh and Maurice Fitz Gerald tar- 
nished their reputation in the eyes of posterity, but 
not in their sovereign's eyes, by their unchivalrous 
action against Earl Richard Marshal, but they 
succeeded in subduing Connaught and greatly 
extending the area of Anglo-Norman domination 
in Ireland, and in this they had the support of 
most of the Irish barons. Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
and, after him, John Fitz Geoffrey, ruled the 
country with a fair measure of success for alto- 
gether twenty-four years. The long periods 
during which they continued in office contrast 
favourably with the rapid changes in the next 
sixteen years when Edward as Dominus Hibemiae 
was responsible for the choice of justiciars. During 
this period there were at least eight occupiers of 
the office, and they were nearly all strangers to 
Ireland. It was a period in which there were 
risings of the Irish in many districts, and one 
serious disturbance, coincident with the war of 
Simon de Montfort, among the barons themselves. 
There are indeed indications that on more than 
one occasion Henry was dissatisfied with his son's 
choice of justiciars and claimed to overrule his 
son's measures. We have mentioned his mandate 
of 1258 bidding his subjects in Ireland not to be 
intentive to any justiciar unless appointed by his 
own letters patent, and his efforts in 1265 — 
perhaps inspired by Simon de Montfort — to super- 
sede Richard de la Rochelle. 1 But a little later 
a more drastic interference with Edward's ad- 
ministration was attempted. On July 12, 1268, 
after referring to the grant to his son of the 

1 See ante, pp. 272 and 281-2. 


whole of Ireland ' so that the land should not be 
separated from the Crown of England ', and stating 
that Edward without the king's licence had made 
alienations of Crown-lands in that country, the 
king empowered his nephew, Henry of Almaine, 
son of his brother Richard, to revoke all aliena- 
tions of lands made by Edward in Ireland and 
take the same into the king's hand. 1 The prin- 
cipal alienations of Crown-lands made by Prince 
Edward were the feoffment of Decies and Desmond 
to John Fitz Thomas of Shanid in 1259, 2 and the 
feoffment of Ulster to Walter de Burgh in 1264. 3 
The lands included in the former grant would 
seem to have been in the king's hand from the 
death of John Fitz Thomas in 1261 until the grant 
was virtually renewed in 1292 to his grandson, 
Thomas Fitz Maurice, and Margaret his wife, the 
king's cousin ; 4 while the feoffment to Walter 
de Burgh was not revoked. In fact it does not 
appear that anything was done in pursuance of 
this mandate. Robert d'Ufford was appointed 
justiciar about the following Michaelmas, and 
Henry of Almaine started with the prince for the 
Holy Land in 1270, and on his return journey was 
slain by the sons of Simon de Montfort. 
Legisla- What little legislation there was for Ireland in 
tion in Henry's reign, as in the reigns of his predecessors, 
reign. took in general the form of writs and ordinances 
addressed by virtue of the royal prerogative to 
the justiciar or other executive officers or to his 
subjects in Ireland generally. In a few cases 
enactments made by the king and council in 
England were by the king's authority tran cribed 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 844. 

2 See ante, p. 140. 3 See ante, p. 266. 
4 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. iii, no. 1051. 


and transmitted for observance in Ireland. Thus 
the Great Charter, as reissued in England under 
date November 12, 1216, was extended to Ireland 
with some slight variations to suit the case of that 
country. 1 What at first sight appears to be 
another reissue of the Great Charter, resembling 
generally, but differing in some respects from 
what is known as the second Charter of Henry III 
(1217), is transcribed in the Black Book of Christ 
Church, Dublin. 2 But this transcript, though 
dated November 6, 1217, contains some significant 
variations from Henry's second charter which 
point clearly to its manufacture at a date subse- 
quent to the third charter of 1225. Thus to 
mention only the most important variations, the 
phrase in the preamble spontanea et bona voluntate 
mea is singularly inappropriate as applied in 1217 
to the boy-king of ten years of age, and seems to 
have been taken from the charter of 1225, where 
its appearance is intelligible. The omission indeed 
of the reference to the demolition of the unlicensed 
castles built during the war between King John 
and the English barons might be explained as 
being inapplicable to Ireland, where there was no 
war with the barons. 3 But the statement as to 
the grant of a fifteenth of goods, which is not 
contained in the printed charter of 1217, also 
appears, in the same terms, in the charter of 1225, 
and while true of the latter year, it was not 

1 See ante, p. lb, 

2 See 'An unnoticed charter of Henry III (1217)' by 
Dr. Lawlor : English Hist. JRev., vol. xxii (1907), p. 514. 
Dr. Lawlor was inclined to consider the charter genuine, but 
the question was again examined with a different result by 
Mr. F. M. Powicke : ibid., vol. xxiii (1908), p. 232. 

3 In the previous February the Irish barons had been 
commended for the fealty which they had manifested to the 
late and to the present king: Pat. Roll, 1 Hen. Ill, p. 31. 


apparently true of either England or Ireland in 
1217. In England other plans for raising money 
were adopted, while in Ireland a toll was imposed 
on the cities, boroughs, and demesnes of the king, 
and an aid sought from the Irish kings and the 
barons and knights who held in chief. 1 Finally 
the formula of the dating clause (' datum per 
manum . . . Rpcardi de Marisco] Dunholmensis 
episcopi cancellarii nostri'), as Mr. Powicke has 
shown, almost certainly implies that the original 
bore the great seal, but this was not in existence 
in 1217. At that period all important documents, 
including Henry's second charter and the Forest 
Charter issued at the time and place mentioned in 
the dating clause of the transcript, were sealed 
with the seals of the Legate Gualo and of Earl 
William Marshal. We must conclude then that 
the transcript does not represent an unknown 
original, but that the text has been compiled and 
edited from more than one revision of the Great 
Charter with a few additional words taken from 
the Charter of Forests. 

The command in general terms that English 
laws and customs were to be observed in Ireland 
was more than once repeated in Henry's reign, 
and in 1236 the constitutions of Merton were 
transmitted and ordered to be observed in Ireland. 
Other ordinances were concerned either with pro- 
cedure, or with declarations of the substantive 
law on special points on which doubts had arisen 
in the Irish courts. In this way the law was 
declared as to tenancy by the curtesy, coparceners, 

1 Rot. Claus. 2 Hen. Ill, p. 375 (November 10, 1217). On 
July 8, 1218, the receipt was acknowledged at the exchequer 
of London of £493 2s. 10&, sent from Ireland : Cal. Docs. 
Ireland, vol. i, no. 843. This was probably the proceeds of 
the toll and aid. 


the jurisdiction of Courts Christian, persons born 
before wedlock, and a bastard dying without 
heirs. In one case only, so far as appears from 
Dr. Berry's edition of Early Statutes, an enactment 
having the character of statute-law was made in 
Ireland, during Henry's reign. This was a pro- 
vision made in 1269 for establishing uniform 
weights and measures ' as they are appointed and 
approved in the city of London '. It is expressed 
to have been enacted by the justiciar and council 
'with the consent of all the magnates and the 
entire commonalty of Ireland V but how this con- 
sent was signified does not appear. 

Owing to the fragmentary state of the accounts The sur- 
it is not possible to give even an approximate p 1us 
estimate of the amount of the revenue of Ireland 
which found its way into the English Exchequer 
in Henry's reign. Probably in many years the 
ordinary revenue was almost entirely absorbed in 
Ireland. We have seen that in 1221 the king 
complained that since the death of King John 
' nothing had been received from the demesne 
lands, rents of assise, or escheats of Ireland ', 2 but 
the interests of the Crown were more faithfully 
looked after by subsequent justiciars. Certainly 
there were many orders for payments unconnected 
with the administration to be made out of Irish 
treasure, and the justiciars were frequently urged 
to bring or send to the king all the money they 
could. In November 1249, the king ordered that 
all the profit issues of Ireland for two years should 
be given to Simon de Montfort, seneschal of 

1 Early Statutes, p. 36. A provision with a similar 
object was contained in the Great Charter of Ireland. In it 
the measure of corn was to be ' the cpuarter of Dublin ' : 
Ibid., p. 14. 

1 Supra, p. 25. 


Gascony, to make fortifications there, 1 and con- 
siderable sums of money seem to have been paid 
for this purpose. In August, following the grant 
of Ireland to Prince Edward, sums amounting to 
£1,900 of the issues of Ireland were transmitted 
to Gascony, 2 and in July 1255 a further sum of 
600 marks was acknowledged by the prince, 3 
while in May 1257 the king ordered the escheator 
of Ireland to pay 2,200 marks out of the issues of 
vacant sees to the citizens of Bordeaux, 4 but we 
cannot be sure that this and similar orders were 
carried out. 

Henry's unpractical schemes and injudicious 
meddling in foreign affairs, as well as his love of 
display and his desire to finance his own and his 
wife's relatives, led him into great expense and 
extravagance, which could not be met out of the 
ordinary revenues of the kingdom, and there was 
always the annual incubus of the Papal tribute. 
Consequently he had recourse again and again 
Aids and to subsidies and aids, both lay and clerical, which 
subsidies. m England caused great irritation and aroused 
the opposition of both barons and clergy, and the 
king's necessities were made the occasion of de- 
mands of constitutional reform. In Ireland these 
subsidies were less frequently sought and were 
perhaps not so harshly pressed. Certainly they 
led to no open conflict with the Crown. We may 
note the following. Besides the toll and aid im- 
posed in the young king's name in 1217, to which 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, p. 451. In July following, 700 
marks were sent to the New Temple : ibid., nos. 3069, 3078 ; 
and there were orders to pay 550 marks to Simon de Montfort 
for fortifying castles in Gascony : ibid., no. 3099 ; and 
1,000 marks to the mayor of Bordeaux for the king's debts : 
ibid., no. 3128. 

2 Ibid., vol. ii, nos. 381-2. 

3 Ibid., no. 455. 4 Ibid., no. 547. 


reference has already been made, and which seems 
to have produced nearly £500, T an aid was re- 
quested in September 1220 from the tenants in 
chief to pay the king's debts to the Pope, Queen 
Berengaria, Louis of France, and others. This 
aid produced the sum of £1,693 2s. Sd. 2 In 
January 1226, Pope Honorius III issued a bull 
exhorting the clergy of Ireland to yield a subsidy 
to the king, urging that ' Ecclesiastical liberty is 
not injured, but defended, when aid is freely given 
to its protector in time of need'," and in the 
following November the king, referring to the 
Pope's order, prayed the archbishops to induce 
the inferior clergy to grant a sixteenth of the 
annual value of their benefices to enable him ' to 
seize the opportunity of the death of the King of 
France (Louis VIII) to recover his rights '. 4 Owing 
to the opposition of Hubert de Burgh, justiciar of 
England, the expedition was postponed, and up 
to June 1229, at any rate, this aid was not paid. 5 
In November of that year the king besought the 
Cistercian abbots for an aid in place of the six- 
teenth demanded from them and the clergy, and 
at the same time he sent a mandate to assess a 
toll on the tenants in chief. If any money was 
collected it was expended on Henry's futile march 
in 1230 from Nantes to Bordeaux and back. 

In November 1236, the king asked for an aid 
both lay and clerical to pay his debt to the 
Emperor Frederick II for the marriage of the 
king's sister Isabella, and also his debt to the Pope ; 

1 Supra, p. 300. 

2 Patent Roll, 5 Hen. Ill, p. 296. 

3 Ibid., 10 Hen. Ill, p. 80. 

4 Ibid., 11 Hen. Ill, pp. 100, 103. 
6 Ibid., 13 Hen. Ill, p. 254. 

6 Close Roll, 14 Hen. Ill, p. 383. 


but the justiciar was not to communicate the king's 
request to the Irish magnates unless he believed 
that they would comply without repining and 
without complaining of the losses which they had 
suffered for the king in the war [of Connaught]. 1 
In July 1238, 2,000 marks were sent by the 
justiciar, Maurice Fitz Gerald, to England, pre- 
sumably as proceeds of this aid. 2 In June 1243, 
the king, when again at Bordeaux on another 
futile expedition to Gascony, in the course of 
which Richard de Burgh, Gerald Fitz Maurice, 
and other Irish leaders lost their lives, thanked 
the Irish clergy for complying with his request 
that they would grant him a subsidy to enable 
him to continue his war. 3 In May 1253, the king, 
while ordering the justiciar to induce the barons 
and others of Ireland to meet the king at Bordeaux 
for his expedition into Gascony, also ordered him 
to require a competent aid from those unable to 
come. 4 In July nearly £4,000 of Irish treasure, 
new and old money, was received by the king. 5 
It is impossible to say how much (if any) of this 
sum was the proceeds of the aid, or whether it 
was merely the surplus revenue of Ireland. The 
king, however, wanted more, and on August 11 
asked for an additional 1,000 marks of Irish 
treasure wherever it could be obtained, and failing 
that, loans of 400 marks ' out of the money of the 
crusaders ', and of 600 marks out of the issues of 
the mint. 6 About this sum of Irish treasure was 

1 Close Eoll, 21 Hen. Ill, p. 512. In October 1237 the 
king wrote direct to the magnates requesting this aid : ibid., 
p. 574. 

2 Ibid., 22 Hen. Ill, p. 75. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2622. 

4 Patent Eoll, 37 Hen. Ill, p. 229. 5 Ibid., p. 216. 
6 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. ii, no. 293. 


paid into the Exchequer at Westminster on 
December 10. 1 

It is clear that Henry had already cast covetous The 
eyes on the Crusade-money. To tell the whole Crusade - 

. 1H0I16Y" 

story of the nefarious dealings with this fund 
would be out of place here. Suffice it to say 
generally that the popes wanted money for their 
secular struggle with the emperor, the king aided 
the pope in despoiling the Church of England, and 
the pope rewarded the king by giving him a share 
in the spoil, while for both pope and king the 
Holy Land was used as a mere bait for collecting 
money. To confine ourselves to Ireland : — In 
1250 the king, having ' assumed the cross ', prayed 
the archbishops to have the cause of the crusade 
preached throughout Ireland and the letters of 
Pope Innocent IV, granting 'boons' to the pro- 
moters, published. 2 In March 1251 the king be- 
sought the Archbishop of Dublin to co-operate with 
Master John de Frusinon, who was sent by Pope 
Innocent IV to collect a tithe from the clergy ' for 
three years before the passage of the king for the 
Holy Land \ :; In March 1253 the pope's order was 
repeated. It is impossible to say how much 
Ireland contributed in pursuance of these repeated 
orders, but the Dean of Hereford's account alone 
(1258) shows that 3,055 marks were collected in 
Ireland for the pious purpose. 4 But the pope was 

1 Patent Eoll, 38 Hen. Ill, p. 361. 

2 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 3067. 

3 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 3115 ; cf. Mat. Paris, 
Chron. Mai., vol. v, pp. 324-32. 

4 Ibid., vol. ii, no. 605. ' For an account of the whole 
episode see ' Edmund earl of Lancaster' by W. E. Khodes, 
Eng. Hist. Eev., vol. x (1895), pp. 20-7. Innocent IV 
died before the bargain was completed, but his policy was 
pursued by his successor, Alexander IV. 

225T1 TJ 


more anxious to gain control over the kingdom of 
Sicily than to free the Holy Land from the infidel. 
Henry eagerly accepted for his nine-year-old son 
Edmund the proffered crown, to be held as a fief 
of the Holy See, and undertook to pay the pope 
the huge sum of 135,000 marks for his expenses 
in the war ; and in return the pope released 
Henry from his crusading vow and authorized the 
diversion of the tithes and obventions collected 
for the crusade to the prosecution of the Sicilian 
Relations Henry owed much in the early years of his 
Church, reign to the influence exercised on his behalf by 
Popes Honorius III and Gregory IX, and his 
natural piety inclined him to avoid conflict with 
either the Church or the papal curia. During the 
regency, however, a conflict arose with Donat 
O'Lonergan, Archbishop of Cashel. In December 
1218 the archbishop complained that Geoffrey de 
Marisco, the justiciar, had disseised him of the new 
vill of Cashel, and a year later the archbishop 
ordered that the province be placed under an 
interdict, arid that the justiciar be excommunicated 
unless restitution should be made. 1 Archbishop 
Henry, the papal legate, advised that, to avoid 
disturbance, restitution be made until the king's 
coming of age. It appeared, however, ' by the find- 
ing of a jury of the highest station and most worthy 
of faith ' that the vill had rightly come into the 
king's hand, 2 and for some years Cashel is specifi- 
cally mentioned in the king's writs along with 
other royal boroughs. In 1222 Pope Honorius 
ordered the archbishop to relax the interdict, 3 and 

1 Eoyal Letters (Shirley), vol. i, p. 72. 

2 Rot. Claus., 4 Hen. Ill, vol. i, p. 435 (Jan. 24. 1220). 

3 Ibid., 6 Hen. Ill, vol. i, p. 517. 


next year the archbishop resigned. In 1228, 
however, when Henry was his own master, he 
remitted his claim to the new archbishop, 
Marianus O'Brien, and granted him the new vill 
for 300 marks. 1 Marianus thereupon granted 
a charter to the existing provost and burgesses of 
the town and their successors, reserving only the 
bakehouse and shambles and a chief rent of nine 
marks. 2 The town, though held of the archbishop, 
was organized after the model of an English borough, 
and extensive franchises were granted to it by 
subsequent kings. 3 

In 1230 Henry ordered all who held pools and 
fisheries within the archbishopric of Dublin to 
pay tithes for the same, as 'he did not wish to 
imperil his soul by withholding such tithes ', 4 an 
expression, used more than once, which indicates 
the power wielded by the Church. He was more 
courageous, however, when it was the soul of 
another that was imperilled, and could express 
his astonishment that, in a dispute between the 
bishops of Emly and Cloyne touching a tenement. 
Maurice Fitz Gerald should defer giving judge- 
ment through fear of being excommunicated by 
one of the parties. 5 In 1245 he was induced by the 
magnates of England to make a protest against the 
exactions and oppressions which Master Martin, 
a papal envoy, made on the clergy to enable the 
pope to carry on his war against the emperor, and 
at the same time he ordered Maurice Fitz Gerald, 
the justiciar, not to allow Master Martin, or his 

1 Close Eoll, 13 Hen. Ill, pp. 127-8. 

2 Chartae Privilegia et Immunitates, p. 21. 

3 Irish Pat. Roll, 26 Eliz., m. 26 (Mori in, p. 82, and 
cf. pp. 236-9). 

* Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 1798. 
6 Ibid., no. 2741. 

2251.1 U 2 


emissary, John the Red, tor make similar exactions 
and oppressions in Ireland. 1 Nevertheless, accord- 
ing to Matthew Paris, John the Red extorted 
6,000 marks from Ireland, and, as we have seen, 
a few years later Henry did not scruple to collude 
with the same pope in despoiling the Church for 
the sake of furthering the mad Sicilian project. 
Ecciesi- it has already been mentioned that the juris* 
jmisdie- diction claimed by Archbishop Henry in respect 
tion. of his manor of St. Sepulchre clashed with the 
liberties claimed by the citizens of Dublin, and 
that in 1223 the archbishop was severely repri- 
manded for some of* his proceedings against the 
citizens. 2 In 1283 King Henry had occasion to 
issue a mandate to his subjects, both lay and 
clerical, in Ireland that, in conformity with the 
law in England, no pleas should be held in an 
ecclesiastical court concerning advowsons, or lay 
fees, or chattels, not connected with testamentary 
or matrimonial matters. 3 A conflict of jurisdictions, 
lay and clerical, again broke out when Fulk de 
Saunford was Archbishop of Dublin. In 1260 
Fulk went to Rome, and in November 1261 Pope 
Urban IV wrote to the king submitting complaints 
made by the archbishop regarding the king's 
justiciars and bailiffs in Ireland and threatening 
ecclesiastical censure. These complaints were, 
briefly, to the following effect : — that the justiciar 
and bailiffs prevent the archbishop, his suffragans, 
and officials from hearing and deciding causes 
between laymen, who are subject to them, con- 
cerning money, or possessions, or defamation, 
though by ancient custom they had cognizance of 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, no. 2746. 

2 Supra, p. 27. 

3 Early Statutes (Berry), p. 24, from Patent Roll, 18 
Hen. Ill, m. 17. 


such causes ; that they even prevent clerks from 
summoning clerks before an ecclesiastical judge 
in pecuniary causes, and rectors from summoning 
other rectors in causes concerning chapels belong- 
ing to their churches or concerning tithes ; that 
they do not allow those properly fined for contu- 
macy or offence to be compelled to pay their fines, 
nor suffer the archbishop, &c, to punish usurers, 
or in cases of divorce to compel restitution of 
dower ; that they hinder the fulfilment of testa- 
mentary gifts to the Church by citizens and 
burgesses of their burgages, and by betaghs of their 
goods ; that they punish by fines, and sometimes 
even by imprisonment, ecclesiastical judges whom 
the king has inhibited from proceeding further 
with a cause, even if they obey the inhibition, 
also judges who are found by inquisition to have 
taken cognizance of any causes which are not 
either matrimonial or testamentary ; and that they 
inhibit any ecclesiastical judge, who in the course 
of any question before him has pronounced 
sentence of excommunication on a layman, from 
proceeding with the cause, and they prevent the 
layman from being shunned as excommunicate. 1 

We do not know what answer at the time was 
given to these complaints, or what precise form 
the controversy took. Probably the archbishop 
relied, in part at least, on the liberties granted to 
his predecessors or enjoyed by them in respect of 
the archiepiscojDal manors. However this may 
have been, inquiry was made into the secular Secular 
jurisdiction and liberties actually exercised by his Jj^ofttie 
predecessors in the manors of the see. On an arch- 
inquisition made in June 1264, at 'a parliament' 1,lsh °p- 

1 Crede Mihi, f. 84, transcribed in Gilbert's Historic and 
Municipal Documents of Ireland, pp. 172-8. 


held at Castledermot before Richard de la 
Rochelle, chief justiciar, and other officers of the 
king, into the alleged usurpation of pleas of the 
Crown and liberties by Fulk Archbishop of Dublin 
to the prejudice of the Lord Edward and his 
liberties, the jury found that Luke, the preceding 
archbishop, held all pleas of the Crown in his 
court except forestalling, rape, treasure-trove, and 
arson, and that Archbishop Fulk made no pur- 
presture, but used the same pleas and liberties. 1 
This finding was itself based on the findings of 
inquisitions held at the archbishop's manors of 
St. Sepulchre, Shankill, Castlekevin, Ballymore, 
Clondalkin, Rathcoole, and Swords.' 2 

At this time, a month after the battle of Lewes, 
neither king nor prince was free to deal with the 
questions at issue, but on June 27, 126(5, Edward, 
as Lord of Ireland, sent letters patent to the 
archbishops, bishops, and judges ordinary or 
delegated by the Apostolic see in Ireland, pro- 
hibiting the holding of pleas in Courts Christian, 
either against the citizens of Dublin or generally, 
concerning chattels or debts, except such as might 
arise out of testamentary or matrimonial matters, 3 
thus virtually following the king's mandate of 1233. 
Two days later he authorized the mayor and 
bailiffs of Dublin to prevent the execution, ' hateful 
to the Lord ', of the ecclesiastical sentence of public 
fustigation through the streets of the city. 4 In 

1 Alani Registrum, f. 63v°, transcribed by Gilbert (as 
above), pp. 141-3. 

2 Ibid., transcribed (as above), pp. 143-66. 

3 Dublin Recorder's Book, f. 167 : transcribed by Gilbert 
(as above), p. 179. 

4 Transcribed by Gilbert (as above), pp. 179-82, from 
the original in the archives of the Municipal Corporation of 


the following April the archbishop appealed in 
person to the king, but succeeded only in getting 
a mandate in general terms that he might enjoy 
the same liberties and quittances as his prede- 
cessors had used, and should have all ordinary 
jurisdiction in his archbishopric. 1 The mayor and 
citizens of Dublin, however, evidently carried out 
with zeal Prince Edward's mandate, for on Feb- 
ruary 29, 1268, Ottobon, Cardinal dean of 
St. Adrian and papal legate, commanded the 
bishops of Lismore and Waterford to excom- 
municate the mayor and citizens because, among 
other ' enormities ', they claimed to restrict or 
mitigate public penances, and - with damnable 
presumption' declared that matrimonial and 
testamentary causes alone should be tried in 
ecclesiastical courts. 2 In the following November 
the dispute as to public fustigation was arranged 
before Eobert d'Ufford, justiciar, and resulted in a 
compromise on the whole favourable to the citizens. 
Only for a fourth offence of a grave and public 
nature was the offender to be denounced to the 
mayor and bailiffs, ' so that he might be banished 
from the city or whipped through it \ 3 It would 
seem, however, that some of the citizens were too 
zealous in resisting clerical pretensions, and in 
July 1270 Edward bade the mayor assist in 
repressing their excesses, so that the archbishop 
' might peaceably exercise his office, so far as 
regards ecclesiastical discipline '. 4 Moreover, except 

1 Cal. Patent Roll, 51 Hen. Ill, m. 20 (p. 54). 

2 Crede Mihi, f. 101, transcribed by Gilbert (as above), 
p. 180. 

3 Dublin Chain Book, f. 32 ; transcribed by Gilbert (as 
above), p. 182. 

4 Alani Registrum, f. 24 ; transcribed by Gilbert (as above) 
p. 183. 


in some particulars where there was a conflict 
of jurisdiction between the archbishop and the 
citizens of Dublin, the liberties, franchises, and 
secular jurisdiction of the archbishops in respect 
of their manors do not appear to have been 
Royal The rule as to the free canonical election of 

Indassent ki sno P s an & abbots, subject to the king's licence 
to elec- to elect having been first obtained, and his assent 
tl0n - to the election being subsequently given, was 

generally observed in Ireland in the reign of 
Henry III and his successor, and what was 
perhaps more important, the temporalities were 
taken into the king's hand during vacancies. 
This was the rule established by King John in 
1213, when he conceded the right of free election, 
and it was afterwards confirmed by Magna Carta. 
The conditions mentioned were immediately 
enforced by the regency in 1217, in the case of 
a vacancy in the see of Armagh, 1 and in 1226 the 
king sent letters to the four archbishops com- 
manding them not to admit to cathedral churches 
until they had been apprised that the king's 
licence and assent had been given. 2 Even in the 
more remote dioceses of the provinces of Cashel 
and Tuam, the king's licence and assent seem to 
have been normally sought and obtained, but in 
certain purely Irish dioceses in the province of 
Armagh, the king's right to the temporalities 
during vacancies was not exacted by Henry III, 
and the rule as to elections was not regularly 
enforced, 3 but was allowed to lapse. Probably 

1 Cal. Docs. Ireland, vol. i, nos. 750, 797, 839. 

2 Ibid., no. 1455. 

3 Nevertheless the king's assent was obtained to the 
election of the Bishop of Dromore in 1227 (Cal. Docs. Irel., 
vol. i, no. 1500), and again in 1215 (ibid., 2774), and the 


the king's right could not easily be enforced in 
these dioceses, and in any case the monetary 
value of the temporalities was small,' as these 
districts had only to a small extent participated 
in the economic advance which elsewhere followed 
the coming of the Normans. Edward I, however, 
endeavoured to establish a uniform practice, and 
in spite of the protest of the archbishop, on 
a writ of quo warranto in 1289, the temporalities 
of the five sees in question, namely, Derry, 
Raphoe, Clogher, Dromore, and Kilmore, when 
vacant, were adjudged to the king. 1 Probably 
even after this the king's right was not regularly 
enforced, but as regards the see of Derry, at any 
rate during the remainder of Edward's reign, the 
king's licence and assent were regularly sought 
and obtained. 2 That some supervision was advis- 
able is suggested in this case by the fact that for 
the preceding century the see had been mono- 
polized by a single family, named O'Carolan. 

Unlike his father, Henry was neither malicious Henry's 
nor tyrannical. His private life was blameless, characU ' ( 
and his disposition was naturally amiable. He 
had, however, an exaggerated idea of his capacity 
both as soldier and as statesman, and of his 
importance as a continental potentate. This was 
probably due to the fact that he succeeded to the 
throne at so early an age. He remained some- 
thing of a spoilt child throughout. He would fly 
into an impotent rage when he could not get 

king's licence to elect to the See of Kilmore was granted in 
1250 (ibid., 3046). In 1241 Henry endeavoured to unite 
the See of Clogher with that of Armagh ' on account of the 
poverty of each see ' (ibid., 2505). In other cases the 
justiciar may have given the king's assent (ibid., 1519). 

1 Cal. Docs. Irel., vol. iii, p. 251. 

2 Ibid., vol. iv, nos. 94, 175, 195, 371, 401, 417. 


what he wanted, and he often wanted what was 
unattainable. Easily led — and led astray — by 
self-seeking foreign relatives who flattered his 
foibles, he would turn a deaf ear to the warnings 
and advice of his natural counsellors, who were 
really in advance of their times in discerning and 
advocating the best interests of the kingdom. 
He was, perhaps, never consciously unjust, but 
while a great stickler for his own rights, in an 
apparent clash of interests he was incapable of 
understanding the position of others. He would 
fain be an autocrat, but he was without the 
capacity which sometimes serves to make auto- 
cracy successful and popular. He was guilty of 
many arbitrary acts, and was led to resist the 
constitutional movement of the barons of England. 
As regards Ireland, however, Henry's influence 
was too slight for these defects to bear their full 
fruit. Except the passing quarrel with Richard 
de Burgh, and the more fateful contest originating 
in England with Earl Richard Marshal, the king 
after he came of age had no serious conflict with 
his barons in Ireland. In general they were 
allowed to go pretty much their own w r ay. He 
neither gave them efficient support, nor kept 
them in sufficient control, while the want of 
a considered and consistent policy in the difficult 
matter of the relations of the Crown with the 
semi-independent Irish chieftains led to disorders 
in many parts of Ireland. Dante recognizes the 
mediocrity of Henry's character by placing him 
in purgatory, 'the king of simple life, sitting 
alone, who left issue better than himself'. 1 

1 Purgatorio, vii. 131. 

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