O Neill, Neill,
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Ancient Arms of O Neill
O Neill of Clanaboy
O Neill of Tyrone
O Neill Sept Arms
Nihill of Clare
is arguably the most illustrious among the surnames of Ireland, though only
tenth in the list of most commonly found names. The story of the sept originates
in the myths of prehistory. The ancient clan historians trace the family back to
Heremon, son of Milesius and Celtic conqueror of Ireland. Thence the line
continues through many generations to through Conn Ceadcathach (Conn of the
Hundred Battles), second century High King and on to Niall Naoi Ghiallach or
Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland from 377 to 404 AD. As High
King of Ireland, Niall reigned from the ancient Irish royal seat at Tara, in
modern Co. Meath. During his reign he conquered all of Ireland and Scotland and
much of Britain and Wales. He took a royal hostage from each of the nine
kingdoms he subjugated, hence his famous nickname. The families that descend
from Niall are collectively known as the Uí Neill, meaning descendants of Niall,
and not to be confused with the sept of O Neill. He had twelve sons, of whom
four moved into Ulster to establish the dynasty there.
Eoghan, son of Niall
gave his name to Tir Eoghain (in English Tyrone) and twelve generations later we
find his descendant, Niall Glandubh (Niall of the Black Knee) as High King in
890 A.D. He was killed in battle against the Norsemen near Dublin in 919. It was
his grandson, Domhnall (c. 943) who adopted the surname O Neill, meaning
grandson of Niall. From the fifth to the eleventh century, and from the twelfth
century to the death of Red Hugh O Neill in 1608, this dominant family were
monarchs of all Ireland, kings of Ulster, earls and princes of Tyrone, statesmen
and soldiers. The O Neills are the oldest family in Europe with unbroken descent
in the male line. The descent of the original Tyrone family has continued
unbroken, down to the present holder of the title of O Neill Mór.
From the sixth to the
twelfth century, the Grianan of Aileach, which overlooks the Inishowen Peninsula
in County Donegal, was an O Neill stronghold. It was plundered many times and
Murtough O Brien demolished it in 1101 in revenge for the destruction of the O
Brien royal seat at Kincora in County Clare. It is recorded that he ordered his
soldiers to carry away the stones with their provisions. In the nineteenth
century, the Grianan was imaginatively restored by a local citizen.
In the fourteenth
century a branch of the Tyrone O Neills migrated to Antrim where they became
known as Clann Aodha Bhuidhe, from Aodh Buidhe (or Hugh Boy) O Neill, who was
slain in 1283. His name is perpetuated in the territorial name Clannaboy or
Clandeboy. These O Neills reversed the usual trend in Ireland of that day by
taking large tracts of land from the Anglo-Norman invaders. Their principal seat
was at Edenduffcarrig, later known as Shane's Castle, northwest of Antrim town.
The attempts made by the English in the sixteenth century to exterminate them,
which were carried out by Essex and others with a ferocity and perfidy seldom
equalled even in that violent age, were unsuccessful, and O Neills are numerous
there today, as they are also in West Ulster. Since 1740, the O Neills of
Clanaboy have been living in Portugal, where they proudly continue their ancient
Gaelic designation O Neill, Chieftain.
The O Neills of the
Fews in Co. Armagh descend from Aodh, known as Hugh of the Fews, died 1475,
second son of Eoghan, chief of the name, who was inaugurated in 1432.
The O Neills of
Thomond (Clare and Limerick) were chiefs of a territory in the modern barony of
Bunratty: to-day O Neill is not a common name in Co. Clare, but the Nihills and
the Creaghs of that county claim to be of Thomond O Neill stock. Modern
historians believe that Nihills were originally Ulster O Neills who settled in
Co. Clare after the battle of Kinsale.
The name O Neill is
quite numerous in and around Co. Carlow, where an O Neill sept was situated in
the barony of Rathvilly. Another O Neill sept was located in the Decies and its
present day representatives are found in Co. Waterford and south Tipperary.
One of the most
lasting and identifiable symbols of Ireland, the red hand, is taken from the O
Neill coat of arms. The symbol predates the advent of formal heraldry, which was
introduced by the Normans and is recorded on the battle standards of the Uí
Neill in the fourth and fifth centuries. Even the family motto "Lám Dearg
Éirinn" means "the red hand of Ireland". There are many legends as to how the O
Neills acquired their motto. One story is that when their ancestors sailed close
to the northeast tip of Ireland they agreed that whoever landed first would have
that area of land. A quick-witted warrior chopped off his left hand, threw it
onto the shore and claimed his reward! Modern coats of arms show the symbol as a
right hand, but the more ancient records clearly have it as "sinister" or left.
In the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries the struggles to preserve Gaelic Ireland centred around
the O Neills and many of them left an indelible imprint on the history of the
province of Ulster.
Conn Bacach (the lame)
O Neill, the first Earl of Tyrone (c. 1484-1559), was the first of the great
warrior O Neills. When his territory was invaded, he went to London to submit to
Henry VIII who created him Earl of Tyrone. His family did not approve of an
English title and there was much feuding, which led to the murder of one of his
sons. Conn took refuge in Dublin, inside the Pale, where he died. Conn was
succeeded by his son, Sean an Diomais (Shane the proud). Shane's followers
murdered his half-brother, Matthew, and Shane himself was murdered by the
MacDonnells of Antrim in revenge for the destruction by Shane of their Scottish
settlements in the county.
Bacach's grandson, the great Hugh O Neill (1550-1616), 2nd Earl of Tyrone and
son of Matthew, lived for six years at the Court of Queen Elizabeth as Baron of
Dungannon. She hoped to tame him and win the allegiance of the O Neills and for
a long time he appeared to be loyal to the Crown. Ireland was in a chaotic
state, it lacked any government except inside the Pale, and constant warring had
led to famine and disease. Given his experience in England, Hugh was aware of
the wider political issues, and at times it must have been difficult for anyone
to know, including himself, which was the right side to support. He began a
series of intrigues with the local chiefs and also with the English, and was
harassed by Elizabeth's spies. Endlessly suing for peace or pardons, he played
for time, waiting for the promised help from Spain. His marital arrangements
were equally unstable. He divorced his first wife, his second wife died, and, at
45 he eloped with Mabel Bagenal, the sister of his archenemy, Sir Henry Bagenal.
She left him when she discovered he "affected two other gentlewomen". She did
not live long and, after her death, he married Catherine Magennis. In 1595 he
had a successful encounter with the English at the battle of Clontibret. At the
battle of the Yellow Ford, near Armagh in 1598, the Irish had one of their
greatest triumphs and Bagenal was killed. Hugh O Neill now began to be regarded
as Prince of Ireland - The O Neill - a title, which meant much more to him and
the Irish than Earl of Tyrone. His arrogance alarmed Elizabeth who sent over her
favourite, the Earl of Essex, with a vast army. However, Essex was tricked by O
Neill and returned, unsuccessful, to London, where Elizabeth had him executed.
She sent another expensive army with more efficient leadership. Many of the
Irish chiefs, thinking only of their property, joined the English. When the
Spanish army finally landed, it was at Kinsale rather than at an Ulster port.
Hugh O Neill had to lead his army in hazardous winter conditions from the north
to the extreme southern tip of Ireland. He wanted to attack at once, but was, it
is thought, restrained by Red Hugh O Donnell and Del Aquila. When they finally
attacked on Christmas Eve 1601, it was too late, and the best opportunity in
centuries was lost.
The defeat at Kinsale
marked the end of the Gaelic order and ushered in the exodus to Europe. In 1607,
Tyrone and his family and many other chiefs sailed from Lough Swilly, an event
to become known as The Flight of the Earls. Tyrone died, homeless and penniless,
in Rome. Although they fought continuously, either between themselves or against
their neighbours, they also sought valiantly to drive out the colonisers. When
Hugh O Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and O Donnell, Earl of Tirconnell, fled to Europe,
they left Ulster open to the Protestant plantations of James I, contributing to
the continuing conflict in this area of Ulster, which remained British when the
rest of Ireland became independent.
Owen Roe (the red
haired) O Neill (1590-1649), a nephew of the great Hugh O Neill, Earl of Tyrone,
was a professional soldier who had served thirty years in the Spanish army. He
returned to Ireland and, in 1642, joined the new movement styled the Confederate
Catholics of Ireland. He defeated the Scots under Monro at Benburb in County
Tyrone in 1646. When Cromwell landed to wreak vengeance, Owen Roe, on his way to
join the royalist army led by Ormond, died.
Owen Roe's nephew,
Daniel O Neill (1612-64), was a Protestant Cavalier and a favourite of Charles
II who, in 1663, appointed him Postmaster-General, an appointment which an O
Neill of Clanaboy, Charles O Neill, was to hold in the nineteenth century.
Sir Phelim O Neill
(1604-53), a lawyer, soldier and bon viveur, took part in the disastrous
insurrection of 1641 where he was Commander-in-Chief of the northern forces. He
was betrayed by a kinsman and executed as a traitor.
O Neills of Ulster were a fiercely proud, sometimes arrogant clan. Although
their royal dynasty is long gone, their fame still lives on in many parts of the
world, particularly in Europe, where O Neills fought in the armies of Spain,
Austria and the Netherlands. There were also distinguished O Neills in the
Church and the arts. The wandering, blind harper, Arthur O Neill (1737-1816), is
recorded as having said, "wherever an O Neill sits he is always the head of the
table". This Arthur was the rootstock from which has sprung some of the best in
Irish traditional music.
Niall O Neill (1658-90), the eldest son of Sir Hugh O Neill of Shane's Castle at
Antrim, of the Clandeboy family, had the dangerous assignment of stopping the
first wave of King William's troops crossing the Boyne at Rossnaree in 1690. He
was fatally wounded and was later buried in Waterford. Shane O Neill was the
last Gaelic Lord of Clanaboy. In 1740 he sailed for Lisbon in Portugal, and the
aristocratic O Neill dynasty continues there to the present day. After his
departure, the O Neill castle, Edenduffearrig in County Antrim, was renamed
Shane's Castle. Today, Raymond, 4th Lord O Neill of the English creation of
1868, lives there. An ancestor of his, Mary O Neill, married the Reverend Arthur
Chichester, rector of Randalstown. Because these O Neills had died out in the
male line, he adopted the illustrious surname, and the numerous descendants of
Mary and Arthur have kept the name an active one in Irish public affairs.
Shane's Castle on the edge of Lough Neagh has suffered many vicissitudes. In the
nineteenth century, Earl O Neill had almost completed the restoration of the
splendid mansion designed by Nash, when it was destroyed by fire. Some say the
fire was caused by Kathleen, the family banshee, who had been disturbed by the
rebuilding. It was later burned again by Sinn Fein, with the irreparable loss of
historical family papers. Raymond O Neill includes among his wide-ranging
activities the preservation of steam trains; he runs a railway system on the
estate at Shane's Castle, which is open to the public. There is also a nature
reserve, and the rebuilt conservatory houses a unique collection of camellias
which, are over 100 years old. Lord O Neill is also chairman of the National
Trust in Northern Ireland.
John O Neill, a member
of the old Irish Parliament, supported Catholic emancipation. He was one of the
delegates who, in 1789, went from the Irish Parliament to request George, Prince
of Wales, to assume the regency. He was killed at the outbreak of the 1798
rising, while travelling home to help restore order to his Ulster homeland.
Terence O Neill
(1912-90) was Prime Minister of Northern Ireland from 1963 to 1969, the year in
which he resigned. He made staunch efforts to reconcile unionists, nationalists
and republicans. He was created a life peer in 1970, taking the title Lord O
Neill of the Maine, being descended from the Chichester-O Neills.
Hugo O Neill, son of
Jorge, whose family has been in Portugal since the eighteenth century, is
officially recognized by the offices of arms throughout Europe as titular Prince
and Count of Tyrone and Clanaboy, but he refuses to use this title. Hugo is, in
fact, a Portuguese nobleman who prefers to use his Irish title, O Neill Buidhe
In the eighteenth
century, a few O Neill women came to the fore. Eliza O Neill (1791-1872) was
born in Drogheda, County Louth, where her father, an actor manager, encouraged
her early acting career. When she appeared on the Dublin stage, her dramatic
talents were immediately recognized. Soon afterwards she played Juliet at Covent
Garden. Her beauty, splendid voice and versatility made her a favourite, and she
earned an enormous salary during five very successful years. In 1819 she retired
to marry William Wrixon, an Irish Member of Parliament from Mallow, County Cork.
His uncle left him a fortune and he assumed his name, Becher. Later he was
knighted and Lady Eliza Wrixon Becher's many children married into the Munster
Early in the
seventeenth century the O Neills, together with other leading Irish families,
were pioneers in the exodus to America. They sailed with Leonard Calvert and
began the settlement of Maryland, which became a haven for these early Irish and
English Catholic settlers.
The O Neills had an
abundance of Irish talent for drama. James O Neill (1849-1920) was only five
when he left Kilkenny with his parents for America, where he became an
outstanding actor. He played Edmund Banton in The Count of Monte Cristo 6,000
times in twenty years, and was thus frustrated from developing his acting
talent. He was the father of the great Irish-American dramatist, Eugene O Neill
(1888-1953), who was born in New York. Having worked as an actor, gold
prospector and seaman, to name but a few of his occupations, he began to write
plays when he was confined to hospital with tuberculosis. He won the Pulitzer
Prize for drama in the 1920s and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936. He was
very aware of his Gaelic heritage and many of his plays reflect this,
particularly Long Day's Journey into Night and Moon for the Misbegotten.
"Sweet Peggy O Neill"
(1769-1879) almost caused the break-up of the United States. Daughter of a
Washington tavern-keeper of Irish origin, she had beauty, wit and vivacity. Her
second husband, John Henry Eaton, a Tennessee politician and member of the US
Senate, was a close friend of President Jackson. In 1829, he appointed Eaton as
Secretary of War. This sudden elevation of Sweet Peggy O Neill was bitterly
resented by the other politicians and more so by their ladies, so Jackson was
forced to reorganize his cabinet! Eaton became US Minister in Spain where Peggy
was happily accepted and they were very successful. He died leaving her a
wealthy widow, but she was tempted into a third marriage by a man who relieved
her of her wealth. She spent the last years of her life in Washington in penury.
John O Neill (1834-78)
from County Monaghan carried his nationalism with him when he emigrated to
America. First he served with distinction in the army. Then he joined the Fenian
Brotherhood in an abortive attack on British Canada, in the cause of Irish
freedom. He survived and returned to civilian life to work for a company of land
speculators. The chief town of Holt County is named after him.
Captain Francis O
Neill (1848-1936) of Bantry, County Cork, became a senior official of the
Chicago police at the beginning of the twentieth century. Encouraged by his
mother, he listened to, and made notes on, the many traditional Irish singers
living around Chicago. A fellow police officer, James O Neill from County Down,
collaborated with him. Together they published a number of volumes of folk music
and dances of Ireland. They left their great contribution to Irish musical
heritage to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Subsequent Irish
folklorists have been enriched by their research.
Rose O Neill
(1874-1944) was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Her father's people were
Irish, and he kept a bookstore and encouraged Rose in her writing and
illustrating. She was the creator of the amazingly popular Kewpie (Cupid) doll,
a forerunner of the Walt Disney industry. For 25 years, her "jolly little elves"
disported themselves on the pages of Ladies Home Journal and other women's
magazines. The Kewpie doll image was used to decorate nurseries, wallpaper,
fabrics, china, even radiator caps. She made a fortune, but was careless, and
generous, with her money and ended up penniless.
Congressman Thomas P.
O Neill was born in Boston in 1912. Under President Jimmy Carter he became
Speaker of the House of Representatives. Known as "Tip" O Neill, he was regarded
as one of the most powerful advocates of the Irish cause internationally. He
died in 1994.
Britain's entry into
the European Economic Community was spearheaded by an O Neill. Sir Con O Neill
(1912-88), who was born in London, went from Eton to Oxford to service in the
Diplomatic Corps. When Britain was officially admitted to the EEC in 1973, part
of the credit was due to Sir Con, who had headed the team that conducted the
The story of the O
Neills is a long and illustrious one. Perhaps the most appropriate quotation
pertaining to the family is that of a fourteenth-century poet who said, "to
compare any clan with that of the O Neills one may as well contend with the
ocean". Many other lines have been written in their honour, including the
following relating to one of their chiefs
Brehons around him - the blue heavens o'er him,
true clan behind, and his broad lands before him,
group'd far below him, on moor, and on heather,
Tanists and chiefs are assembled together;
give him a sword, and he swears to protect them;
slender white wand, and he vows to direct them;
then, in God's sunshine, "O'NEILL" they all hail him:
Through life, unto death, ne'er to flinch from, or fail him;
earth hath no spell that can shatter or sever
bond from their true hearts - The Red Hand for Ever!
lords of Tir-Owen! High Chiefs of Lough Neagh!
broad-stretch'd the lands that were rul'd by your sway!
eagle would venture to wing them right through,
would droop on his pinion, o'er half ere he flew!
the Hills of MacCartan, and waters that ran
Steeds down Glen Swilly, to soft-flowing Bann -
Clannaboy's heather to Carrick's sea-shore
Armagh of the Saints to the wild Innismore -
the cave of the hunter on Tir-Connell's hills
dells of Glenarm, all gushing with rills -
Antrim's bleak rocks to the woods of Rostrevor -
echo'd your war-shout - `The Red Hand for Ever!'
Various O Neill
coats of arms have been recorded over the centuries. The following is recognised
by the Chief Herald of Ireland as a sept or clan coat of arms for the family
two lions rampant combatant Gules supporting a dexter hand couped at the wrist
of the last, in chief three estoiles of the second, in base waves of the sea
therein naiant a salmon all proper.
Crest: An arm
in armour embowed holding a sword all proper.
dearg Eirinn [The red hand of Ireland].
in his youth and in his father's life-time, went into Scythia, where he was
kindly received by the king of that country, who gave him his daughter in
marriage, and appointed him General of his forces. In this capacity Milesius
defeated the king's enemies, gained much fame, and the love of all the king's
subjects. His growing greatness and popularity excited against him the jealousy
of the king; who, fearing the worst, resolved on privately dispatching Milesius
our of the way, for, openly, he dare not attempt it. Admonished of the king's
intentions in his regard, Milesius slew him; and thereupon quitted Scythia and
retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail. Pharaoh Nectonibus, then king of
Egypt, being informed of his arrival and of his great valour, wisdom, and
conduct in arms, made him General of all his forces against the king of Ethiopia
then invading his country. Here, as in Scythia, Milesius was victorious; he
forced the enemy to submit to the conqueror's own terms of peace. By these
exploits Milesius found great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him, being then a
widower, his daughter Scota in marriage; and kept him eight years afterwards in
Egypt. During the sojourn of Milesius in Egypt, he employed the most ingenious
and able persons among his people to be instructed in the several trades, arts,
and sciences used in Egypt; in order to have them taught to the rest of his
people on his return to Spain. [The original name of Milesius of Spain was
"Galamh" (gall: Irish, a stranger; amh, a negative affix), which means, no
stranger: meaning that he was no stranger in Egypt, where he was called
"Milethea Spaine," which was afterwards contracted to "Miló Spaine" (meaning the
Spanish Hero), and finally to "Milesius" (mileadh: Irish, a hero; Lat. miles, a
soldier).] At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and steered
towards Spain; where he arrived to the great joy and comfort of his people; who
were much harassed by the rebellion of the natives and by the intrusion of other
foreign nations that forced in after his father's death, and during his own long
absence from Spain. With these and those he often met; and, in fifty-four
battles, victoriously fought, he routed, destroyed, and totally extirpated them
out of the country, which he settled in peace and quietness. In his reign a
great dearth and famine occurred in Spain, of twenty-six years' continuance,
occasioned, as well by reason of the former troubles which hindered the people
from cultivating, and manuring the ground, as for want of rain to moisten the
earth - but Milesius superstitiously believed the famine to have fallen upon him
and his people as a judgment and punishment from their gods, for their
negligence in seeking out the country destined for their final abode, so long
before foretold by Cachear their Druid or magician, as already mentioned - the
time limited by the prophecy for the accomplishment thereof being now nearly, if
not fully, expired. To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his
gods, Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe,
with his son Lughaidh [Luy], and one hundred and fifty stout men to bring them
an account of those western islands; who, accordingly, arriving at the island
since then called Ireland, and landing in that part of it now called Munster,
left his son with fifty of his men to guard the ship, and with the rest
travelled about the island. Informed, among other things, that the three sons of
Cearmad, called Mac-Cuill, MacCeacht, and MacGreine, did then and for thirty
years before rule and govern the island, each for one year, in his turn; and
that the country was called after the names of their three queens - Eire,
Fodhla, and Banbha, respectively: one year called "Eire," the next "Fodhla," and
the next "Banbha," as their husbands reigned in their regular turns; by which
names the island is ever since indifferently called, but most commonly "Eire,"
because that MacCuill, the husband of Eire, ruled and governed the country in
his turn the year that the Clan-na-Milé (or the sons of Milesius) arrived in and
conquered Ireland. And being further informed that the three brothers were then
at their palace at Aileach Neid, in the north part of the country, engaged in
the settlement of some disputes concerning their family jewels, Ithe directed
his course thither; sending orders to his son to sail about with his ship and
the rest of his men, and meet him there. When Ithe arrived where the (Danann)
brothers were, be was honourably received and entertained by them; and, finding
him to be a mail of great wisdom. and knowledge, they referred their disputes to
him for decision. That decision having met their entire satisfaction, Ithe
exhorted them to mutual love, peace, and forbearance; adding much in praise of
their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country; and then took his leave, to
return to his ship, and go back to Spain. No sooner was he gone than the
brothers; began to reflect on the high commendations which Ithe gave of the
Island; and, suspecting his design of bringing others to invade it, resolved to
prevent them, and therefore pursued him with a strong party, overtook him,
fought and routed his men and wounded himself to death (before his son or the
rest of his men left on ship-board could come to his rescue) at a place called,
from that fight and his name, Magh Ithe or "The plain of Ithe" (an extensive
plain in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal); whence his son, having found him
in that condition, brought his dead and mangled body back into Spain, and there
exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and relations to avenge
his murder. [Note: that all the invaders and planters of Ireland, namely,
Parthalonians, Neimhedh, the Firbolgs, Tuatha-de-Danann, and Clan-na-Milé, where
originally Scythians, of the line of Japbet, who had the language called
Bearla-Tobbai or Gaoidhilg [Gaelic] common amongst them all; and consequently
not to be wondered at, that Ithe and the Tuatha-de-Danann understood one another
without an Interpreter - both speaking the same language, though perhaps with
some difference in the accent]. The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the
desired effect; for, thereupon, Milesius made great preparations in order to
invade Ireland - as well to avenge his uncle's death, as also in obedience to
the will of his gods, signified by the prophecy of Cachear, aforesaid. But,
before he could effect that object, he died, leaving the care, and charge of
that expedition upon his eight legitimate sons by his two wives before
mentioned. Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great warrior, and fortunate
and prosperous in all his undertakings: witness his name of "Milesius," given
him from the many battles (some say a thousand, which the word "Milé" signifies
in Irish as well as in Latin) which he victoriously fought and won, as well in
Spain, as in all the other countries and kingdoms be traversed in his younger
days. The eight brothers were neither forgetful nor negligent in the execution
of their father's command; but, soon after his death, with a numerous fleet well
manned and equipped, set forth from Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia (now Corunna)
in Galicia, in Spain, and sailed prosperously to the coasts of Ireland or
lnis-Fail, where they met many difficulties and various chances before they
could land: occasioned by the diabolical arts, sorceries, and enchantments used
by the Tuatha-de-Danann, to obstruct their landing; for, by their magic art,
they enchanted the island so as to appear to the Milesians or Clan-na-Milé in
the form of a Hog, and no way to come at it (whence the island, among the many
other names it had before, was called "Muc-Inis or "The Hog Island"); and withal
raised so great a storm, that the Milesian fleet was thereby totally dispersed
and many of them cast away, wherein five of the eight brothers, sons of
Milesius, lost their lives. That part of the fleet commanded by Heber, Heremon,
and Amergin (the three surviving, brothers), and Heber Donn, son of Ir (one of
the brothers lost in the storm), overcame all opposition, landed safe, fought
and routed the three Tuatha-de Danann Kings at Slieve-Mis, and thence pursued
and overtook them at Tailten, where another bloody battle was fought; wherein
the three (Tuatha-de-Danann) Kings and their Queens were slain, and their army
utterly routed and destroyed: so that they could never after give any opposition
to the Clan-na-Milé in their new conquest; who, having thus sufficiently avenged
the death of their great uncle Ithe, gained the possession of the country
foretold them by Cachear, some ages past, as already mentioned. Heber and
Heremon, the chief leading men remaining of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius
aforesaid, divided the kingdom between them (allotting a proportion of land to
their brother Amergin, who was their Arch-priest, Druid, or magician; and to
their nephew Heber Donn, and to the rest of their chief commanders), and became
jointly the first of one hundred and eighty-three Kings or sole Monarchs of the
Gaelic, Milesian, or Scottish Race, that ruled and governed Ireland,
successively, for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years from the
first year of their reign), Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred, to their
submission to the Crown of England in the person of King Henry the Second; who,
being also of the Milesian Race by Maude, his mother, was lineally descended
from Fergus Mór MacEarca, first King of Scotland, who was descended from the
said Heremon - so that the succession may be truly said to continue in the
Milesian Blood from before Christ one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years
down to the present time. Heber and Heremon reigned jointly one year only, when,
upon a difference between their ambitious wives, they quarrelled and fought a
battle at Ardeath or Geshill (Geashill, near Tullamore in the King's County),
where Heber was slain by Heremon; and, soon after, Amergin, who claimed an equal
share in the government, was, in another battle fought between them, likewise
slain by Heremon. Thus, Heremon became sole Monarch, and made a new division of
the land amongst his comrades and friends, viz.: the south part, now called
Munster, he gave to his brother Heber's four sons, Er, Orba, Feron, and Fergna;
the north part, now Ulster, he gave to Ir's only son Heber Donn; the east part
or Coigeadh, Galian, now called Leinster, be gave to Criomthann-sciath-bheil,
one of his commanders; and the west part, now called Connaught, Heremon gave to
Un-Mac-Oigge, another of his commanders; allotting a part of Munster to Lughaidh
(the son of Ithe, the first Milesian discoverer of Ireland), amongst his brother
Heber's sons. From these three brothers, Heber, Ir, and Heremon (Amergin dying
without issue), are descended all the Milesian Irish of Ireland and Scotland,
viz.: from Heber, the eldest brother, the provincial Kings of Munster (of whom
thirty-eight were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and most of the nobility and gentry
of Munster, and many noble families in Scotland, are descended. From Ir, the
second brother, all the provincial Kings of Ulster (of whom twenty-six were sole
Monarchs of Ireland), and all the ancient nobility and gentry of Ulster, and
many noble families in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, derive their pedigrees;
and, in Scotland, the Clan-na-Rory - the descendants of an eminent man, named
Ruadhri or Roderick, who was Monarch of Ireland for seventy years (viz., from
Before Christ 288 to 218). From Heremon, the youngest of the three brothers,
were descended one hundred and fourteen sole Monarchs of Ireland: the provincial
Kings and Hermonian nobility and gentry of Leinster, Connaught, Meath, Orgiall,
Tirowen, Tirconnell, and Clan-na-boy; the Kings of Dalriada; all the Kings of
Scotland from Fergus Mór MacEarea, down to the Stuarts; and the Kings and Queens
of England from Henry the Second down to tile present time. The issue of Ithe is
not accounted among the Milesian Irish or Clan-na-Milé, as not being descended
from Milesius, but from his uncle Ithe; of whose posterity there were also some
Monarchs of Ireland, and many provincial or half provincial Kings of Munster:
that country upon its first division being allocated to the sons of Heber and to
Lughaidh, son of Ithe, whose posterity continued there accordingly. This
invasion, conquest, or plantation of Ireland by the Milesian or Scottish Nation
took place in the Year of the World three thousand Ova hundred, or the next year
after Solomon began the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem, and one thousand
six hundred and ninety-nine years before the Nativity of our Saviour Jesus
Christ; which, according to the Irish computation of Time, occurred Anno Mundi
five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: therein agreeing with the Septuagint,
Roman Martyrologies, Eusebius, Orosius, and other ancient authors; which
computation the ancient Irish chroniclers exactly observed in their Books of the
Reigns of the Monarchs of Ireland, and other Antiquities of that Kingdom ; out
of which the Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland, from the beginning of the Milesian
Monarchy to their submission to King Henry the Second of England, a Prince of
their own Blood, is exactly collected. [As the Milesian invasion of Ireland took
place the next year after the laying of the foundation of the Temple of
Jerusalem by Solomon, King of Israel, we may infer that Solomon was contemporary
with Milesius of Spain; and that the Pharaoh King of Egypt, who (1 Kings iii.
1,) gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon, was the Pharaoh who conferred on
Milesius of Spain the hand of another daughter Scota.] Milesius of Spain bore
three Lions in his shield and standard, for the following reasons; namely, that,
in his travels in his younger days into foreign countries, passing through
Africa, he, by his cunning and valour, killed in one morning three Lions; and
that, in memory of so noble and valiant an exploit, he always after bore three
Lions on his shield, which his two surviving sons Heber and Heremon, and his
grandson Heber Donn, son of Ir, after their conquest of Ireland, divided amongst
them, as well as they did the country: each of them. bearing a Lion in his
shield and banner, but of different colours; which the Chiefs of their posterity
continue to this day: some with additions and differences; others plain and
entire as they had it from their ancestors.
37. Heremon: his son. He and
his eldest brother Heber were, jointly, the first Milesian Monarchs of Ireland;
they began to reign, A.M. 3,500, or, Before Christ, 1699. After Heber was slain,
B.C. 1698, Heremon reigned singly for fourteen years; during which time a
certain colony called by the Irish Cruithneaigh, in English "Cruthneans" or
Picts, arrived in Ireland and requested Heremon to assign them a part of the
country to settle in, which he refused; but, giving them as wives the widows of
the Tuatha-de-Danans, slain in battle, he sent them with a strong party of his
own forces to conquer the country then called "Alba," but now Scotland;
conditionally, that they and their posterity should be tributary to the Monarchs
of Ireland. Heremon died, B.C. 1683, and was succeeded by three of his four
sons, named Muimne, Luigne, and Laighean, who reigned jointly for three years,
and were slain by their Heberian successors.
38. Irial Faidh ("faidh":
Irish, a prophet): his son; was the 10th Monarch of Ireland; died B.C. 1670.
This was a very learned King; could foretell things to come; and caused much of
the country to be cleared of the ancient forests. He likewise built seven royal
palaces, viz., Rath Ciombaoith, Rath Coincheada, Rath Mothuig, Rath Buirioch,
Rath Luachat, Rath Croicne, and Rath Boachoill. He won four remarkable battles
over his enemies: - Ard Inmath, at Teabtha, where Stirne, the son of Dubh, son
of Fomhar, was slain; the second battle was at Teanmhuighe, against the
Fomhoraice, where Eichtghe, their leader, was slain; the third was the battle of
Loch Muighe, where Lugrot, the son of Moghfeibhis, was slain; and the fourth was
the battle of Cuill Martho, where the four sons of Heber were defeated. Irial
died in the second year after this battle, having reigned 10 years, and was
buried at Magh Muagh.
39. Eithrial: his son; was the
11th Monarch; reigned 20 years; and was slain by Conmaol, the son of Heber
Fionn, at the battle of Soirrean, in Leinster, B.C. 1650.
This also was a learned King,
he wrote with his own hand the History of the Gaels (or Gadelians); in his reign
seven large woods were cleared and much advance made in the practice of
40. Foll-Aich: his son; was
kept out of the Monarchy by Conmaol, the slayer of his father, who usurped his
41. Tigernmas: his son; was
the 13th Monarch, and reigned 77 years; according to Keating, he reigned but 50
years; he fought twenty-seven battles with the followers of the family of Heber
Fionn, all which he gained. In his reign gold was mined near the Liffey, and
skilfully worked by Inchadhan. This King also made a law that each grade of
society should be known by the number of colours in its wearing apparel: - the
clothes of a slave should be of one colour; those of a soldier of two; the dress
of a commanding officer to be of three colours; a gentleman's dress, who kept a
table for the free entertainment of strangers, to be of four colours; five
colours to be allowed to the nobility (the chiefs); and the King, Queen, and
Royal Family, as well as the Druids, historians, and other learned men to wear
This King died, B.C. 1543, on
the Eve of 1st of November, with two-thirds of the people of Ireland, at Magh
Sleaght (or Field of Adoration), in the county of Leitrim, as he was adoring the
Sun-God, Crom Cruach (a quo Macroom). Historians say this Monarch was the first
who introduced image worship in Ireland.
42. Enboath: his son. It was
in this prince's lifetime that the Kingdom was divided in two parts by a line
drawn from Drogheda to Limerick.
43. Smiomghall: his son; in
his lifetime the Picts in Scotland were forced to abide by their oath, and pay
homage to the Irish Monarch; seven large woods were also cut down.
44. Fiacha Labhrainn: his son;
was the 18th Monarch; reigned 24 years; slew Eochaidh Faobharglas, of the line
of Heber, at the battle of Carman. During his reign all the inhabitants of
Scotland were brought in subjection to the Irish Monarchy, and the conquest was
secured by his son the 20th Monarch. Fiacha at length (B.C. 1448) fell in the
battle of Bealgadain, by the hands of Eochaidh Mumho, the son of Moefeibhis, of
the race of Heber Fionn.
45. Aongus Olmucach: his son;
was the 20th Monarch; in his reign the Picts again refused to pay the tribute
imposed on them 250 years before, by Heremon, but this Monarch went with a
strong army into Alba and in thirty pitched battles overcame them and forced
them to pay the required tribute.
Aongus was at length slain by
Eana, in the battle of Carman, B.C. 1409.
46. Main: his son; was kept
out of the Monarchy by Eadna, of the line of Heber Fionn. In his time silver
shields were given as rewards for bravery to the Irish militia.
47. Rotheachtach: his son; was
the 22nd Monarch; slain, B.C. 1357, by Sedne (or Seadhna), of the Line of Ir.
48. Dein: his son; was kept
out of the Monarchy by his father's slayer, and his son. In his time gentlemen
and noblemen first wore gold chains round their necks, as a sign of their birth;
and golden helmets were given to brave soldiers,
49. Siorna "Saoghalach"
(long-oevus): his son; was the 34th Monarch; he obtained the name "Saoghalach"
on account of his extraordinary long life; slain, B.C 1030, at Aillin, by
Rotheachta, of the line of Heber Fionn, who usurped the Monarchy, thereby
excluding from the throne -
50. Olioll Aolcheoin: son of
51. Gialchadh: his son; was
the 37th Monarch; killed by Art Imleach, of the Line of Heber Fionn, at Moighe
Muadh, B.C. 1013.
52. Nuadhas Fionnfail: his
son; was the 39th Monarch; slain by Breasrioghacta, his successor, B.C. 961.
53. Aedan Glas: his son. In
his time the coast was infested with pirates; and there occurred a dreadful
plague (Apthach) which swept away most of the inhabitants.
54. Simeon Breac: his son; was
the 44th Monarch; he inhumanly caused his predecessor to be torn asunder; but,
after a reign of six years, he met with a like death, by order of Duach Fionn,
son to the murdered King, B.C. 903.
55. Muredach Bolgach: his son;
was the 46th Monarch; killed by Eadhna Dearg, B.C. 892; he had two sons - Duach
Teamhrach, and Fiacha.
56. Fiacha Tolgrach: son of
Muredach; was the 55th Monarch. His brother Duach had two sons, Eochaidh
Framhuine and Conang Beag-eaglach, who were the 51st and 53rd Monarchs of
Fiacha's life was ended by the
sword of Oilioll Fionn, of the Line of Heber Fionn, B.C. 795.
57. Duach Ladhrach: his son;
was the 59th Monarch; killed by Lughaidh Laighe, son of Oilioll Fionn, B.C. 737.
58. Eochaidh Buadhach: his
son; was kept out of the Monarchy by his father's slayer. In his time the
kingdom was twice visited with a plague.
59. Ugaine Mór: his son. This
Ugaine (or Hugony) the Great was the 66th Monarch of Ireland. Was called Mór on
account of his extensive dominions, - being sovereign of all the Islands of
Western Europe. Was married to Cæsair, daughter to the King of France, and by
her had issue - twenty-two sons and three daughters. In order to prevent these
children encroaching on each other he divided the Kingdom into twenty-five
portions, allotting to each his (or her) distinct inheritance. By means of this
division the taxes of the country were collected during the succeeding 300
years. All the sons died without issue except two, viz: - Laeghaire Lorc,
ancestor of all the Leinster Heremonians; and Cobthach Caolbhreagh, from whom
the Heremonians of Leath Cuinn, viz., Meath, Ulster, and Conacht derive their
Ugaine was at length, B.C.
593, slain by Badhbhchadh, who failed to secure the fruits of his murder - the
Irish Throne, as he was executed by order of Laeghaire Lorc, the murdered
Monarch's son, who became the 68th Monarch.
60. Colethach Caol-bhreagh:
son of Ugaine Mór; was the 69th Monarch; it is said, that, to secure the Throne,
he assassinated his brother Laeghaire; after a long reign he was at length slain
by Maion, his nephew, B.C. 541.
61. Melg Molbhthach: his son;
was the 71st Monarch; was slain by Modhchorb, son of Cobhthach Caomh, of the
Line of Heber Fionn, B.C. 541.
62. Iaran Gleofathach: his
son; was the 74th Monarch; was a King of great justice and wisdom very well
learned and possessed of many accomplishments; slain by Fear-Chorb, son of
Modh-Chorb, B.C. 473.
63. Conla Caomh: his son; was
the 74th Monarch of Ireland; died a natural death, B.C. 442.
64. Olioll Cas-fiachlach: his
son; was the 77th Monarch; slain by his successor, Adhamhar Foltchaion, B.C.
65. Eochaidh Alt-Leathan: his
son; was the 79th Monarch; slain by Feargus Fortamhail, his successor, B.C. 395.
66. Aongus (or Æneas)
Tuirmeach-Teamrach: his son; was the 81st Monarch; his son, Fiacha Firmara (so
called from being exposed in a small boat on the sea) was ancestor of the Kings
of Dalriada and Argyle in Scotland. This Aongus was slain at Tara (Teamhrach),
67. Enna Aigneach: the
legitimate son of Aongus; was the 84th Monarch; was of a very bountiful
disposition, and exceedingly munificent in his donations. This King lost his
life by the hands of Criomthan Cosgrach, B.C. 292.
68. Assaman Eamhna: his son;
was excluded from the Throne by his father's murderer.
69. Roighen Ruadh: his son; in
his time most of the cattle in Ireland died of murrain.
70. Fionnlogh: his son.
71. Fionn: his son; married
Benia, daughter of Criomthan; had two sons.
72. Eochaidh Feidlioch: his
son; was the 93rd Monarch; m Clothfionn, daughter of Eochaidh Uchtleathan, who
was a very virtuous lady. By him she had three children at a birth - Breas, Nar,
and Lothar (the Fineamhas), who were slain at the battle of Dromchriadh; after
their death, a melancholy settled on the Monarch, hence his name "Feidhlioch."
This Monarch caused the
division of the Kingdom by Ugaine Mór into twenty-five parts, to cease; and
ordered that the ancient Firvolgian division into Provinces should be resumed,
viz., Two Munsters, Leinster, Conacht, and Ulster.
He also divided the government
of these Provinces amongst his favourite courtiers: - Conacht he divided into
three parts between Fiodhach, Eochaidh Allat, and Tinne, son of Conragh, son of
Ruadhri Mór, No 62 on the "Line of Ir;" Ulster (Uladh) he gave to Feargus, the
son of Leighe; Leinster he gave to Ros, the son of Feargus Fairge; and the two
Munsters he gave to Tighernach Teadhbheamach and Deagbadah.
After this division of the
Kingdom, Eochaidh proceeded to erect a Royal Palace in Conacht; this he built on
Tinne's government in a place called Druin-na-n Druagh, now Craughan (from
Craughan Crodhearg, Maedhbh's mother, to whom she gave the palace), but
previously, Rath Eochaidh. About the same time he bestowed his daughter the
Princess Maedhbh on Tinne, whom he constituted King of Conacht; Maedhbh being
hereditary Queen of that Province.
After many years reign Tinne
was slain by Maceacht (or Monaire) at Tara. After ten years' undivided reign,
Queen Maedhbh married Oilioll Mór, son of Ros Ruadh, of Leinster, to whom she
bore the seven Maine; Oilioll Mór was at length slain by Conall Cearnach, who
was soon after killed by the people of Conacht. Maedhbh was at length slain by
Ferbhuidhe, the son of Conor MacNeasa (Neasa was his mother); but in reality
this Conor was the son of Fachtna Fathach, son of Cas, son of Ruadhri Mór, of
the Line of Ir.
This Monarch, Eochaidh, died
at Tara, B.C. 130.
73. Bress-Nar-Lothar: his son.
In his time the Irish first dug graves beneath the surface to bury their dead;
previously they laid the body on the surface and heaped stones over it. He had
also been named Fineamhnas.
74. Lughaidh Sriabh-n Dearg:
his son; was the 98th Monarch; he entered into an alliance with the King of
Denmark, whose daughter, Dearborguill, he obtained as his wife; he killed
himself by falling on his sword in the eighth year Before CHRIST.
75. Crimthann-Niadh-Nar: his
son; who was the 100th Monarch of Ireland, and styled "The Heroic." It was in
this Monarch's reign that our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST was born.
Crimthann's death was
occasioned by a fall from his horse, B.C. 9. Was married to Nar-Tath-Chaoch,
daughter of Laoch, son of Daire, who lived in the land of the Picts (Scotland).
76. Feredach Fionn-Feachtnach:
his son; was the 102nd Monarch. The epithet "feachtnach" was applied to this
Monarch because of his truth and sincerity. In his reign lived Moran, the son of
Maom, a celebrated Brehon, or Chief Justice of the Kingdom; it is said that he
was the first who wore the wonderful collar called Iodhain Morain; this collar
possessed a wonderful property: - if the judge who wore it attempted to pass a
false judgment it would immediately contract, so as nearly to stop his
breathing; but if he reversed such false sentence the collar would at once
enlarge itself, and hang loose around his neck. This collar was also caused to
be worn by those who acted as witnesses, so as to test the accuracy of their
evidence. This Monarch, Feredach, died a natural death at the regal city at
Tara, A.D. 36.
77. Fiacha Fionn Ola: his son;
was the 104th Monarch; reigned 17 years, and was (A.D. 56) slain by Eiliomh
MacConrach, of the Race of Ir, who succeeded him on the throne. This Fiacha was
married to Eithne, daughter of the King of Alba; whither, being near her
confinement at the death of her husband, she went, and was there delivered of a
son, who was named Tuathal.
78. Tuathal Teachtmar: that
son; was the 106th Monarch of Ireland. When Tuathal came of age, he got together
his friends, and, with what aid his grandfather the king of Alba gave him, came
into Ireland and fought and overcame his enemies in twenty-five battles in
Ulster, twenty-five in Leinster, as many in Connaught, and thirty-five in
Munster. And having thus restored the true royal blood and heirs to their
respective provincial kingdoms, he thought fit to take, as he accordingly did
with their consent, fron each of the four divisions or provinces Munster,
Leinster, Connaught, and Ulster, a considerable tract of ground which was the
next adjoining to Uisneach (where Tuathal had a palace): one east, another west,
a third south, and a fourth on the north of it; and appointed all four (tracts
of ground so taken from the four provinces) under the name of Midhe or "Meath"
to belong for ever after to the Monarch's own peculiar demesne for the
maintenance of his table; on each of which several portions he built a royal
palace for himself and his heirs and successors; for every of which portions the
Monarch ordained a certain chiefry or tribute to be yearly paid to the
provincial Kings from whose provinces the said portions were taken, which may be
seen at large in the Chronicles. It was this Monarch that imposed the great and
insupportable fine (or "Eric") of 6,000 cows or beeves, as many fat muttons, (as
many) hogs, 6,000 mantles, 6,000 ounces (or "Uinge") of silver, and 12,000
(others have it 6,000) cauldrons or pots of brass, to be paid every second year
by the province of Leinster to the Monarchs of Ireland for ever, for the death
of his only two daughters Fithir and Darina. This tribute was punctually taken
and exacted, sometimes by fire and sword, during the reigns of forty Monarchs of
Ireland upwards of six hundred years, until at last remitted by Finachta
Fleadhach, the 153rd Monarch of Ireland, and the 26th Christian Monarch, at the
request and earnest solicitation of St. Moling. At the end of thirty years'
reign, the Monarch Tuathal was slain by his successor Mal, A.D. 106.
This Monarch erected Royal
Palace at Tailtean; around the grave of Queen Tailte he caused the Fairs to be
resumed on La Lughnasa (Lewy's Day), to which were brought all of the youth of
both sexes of a suitable age to be married, at which Fair the marriage articles
were agreed upon, and the ceremony performed.
Tuathal married Baine, the
daughter of Sgaile Balbh, King of England.
79. Fedhlimidh (Felim)
Rachtmar: his son; was so called as being a maker of excellent wholesome laws,
among which he established with all firmness that of "Retaliation;" kept to it
inviolably; and by that means preserved the people in peace, quiet, plenty, and
security during his time. This Felim was the 108th Monarch; reigned nine years;
and, after all his pomp and greatness, died of thirst, A.D. 119. He married
Ughna, daughter of the King of Denmark.
80. Conn Ceadcathach (or Conn
of the Hundred Battles); his son; This Conn was so called from hundreds of
battles by him fought and won: viz., sixty battles against Cahir Mór, King of
Leinster and the 109th Monarch of Ireland, whom he slew and succeeded in the
Monarchy; one hundred battles against the Ulsterians; and one hundred more in
Munster against Owen Mór (or Mogha Nua-Dhad), their King, who, notwithstanding,
forced the said Conn to an equal division of the Kingdom with him. He had two
brothers - 1. Eochaidh Fionn-Fohart, 2. Fiacha Suidhe, who, to make way for
themselves, murdered two of their brother's sons named Conla Ruadh and Crionna;
but they were by the third son Art Eanfhear banished, first into Leinster, and
then into Munster, where they lived near Cashel. They were seated at Deici
Teamhrach (now the barony of Desee in Meath), whence they were expelled by the
Monarch Cormac Ulfhada, son of Art; and, after various wanderings, they went to
Munster where Oilioll Olum, who was married to Sadhbh, daughter of Conn of the
Hundred Battles, gave them a large district of the present county of Waterford,
a part of which is still called Na-Deiseacha, or the baronies of Desies. They
were also given the country comprised in the present baronies of Clonmel,
Upper-Third, and Middle-Third, in the co. Tipperary, which they held till the
Anglo-Norman Invasion. From Eochaidh Fionn-Fohart decended O'Nowlan or Nolan of
Fowerty (or Foharta), in Lease (or Leix), and Saint Bridget; and from Fiacha
Suidhe are O'Dolan, O'Brick of Dunbrick, and O'Faelan of Dun Faelan, near
Cashel. Conn of the Hundred Battles had also three daughters: 1. Sadhbh, who
married first, MacNiadh, after whose death she married Oilioll Olum, King of
Munster. 2. Maoin; and 3. Sarah (or Sarad), married to Conan MacMogha Laine.
Conn reigned 35 years; but was
at length barbarously slain by Tiobraidhe Tireach, son of Mal, son of
Rochruidhe, King of Ulster. This murder was committed in Tara, A.D. 157, when
Conn chanced to be alone and unattended by his guards; the assassins were fifty
ruffians, disguised as women, whom the King of Ulster employed for the purpose.
81. Art Eanfhear ("art:"
Irish, a bear, a stone; noble, great, generous; hardness, cruelty. "Ean:" Irish,
one; "fhear," "ar," the man; Gr. "Ar," The Man, or God of War): son of Conn of
the Hundred Fights. This Art, who was the 112th Monarch of Ireland, had three
sisters - one of whom Sarad was the wife of Conaire Mac Mogha Laine, the 111th
Monarch, by whom she had three sons called the "Three Cairbres," viz. - 1.
Cairbre (alias Eochaidh) Riada - a quo "Dalriada," in Ireland, and in Scotland;
2. Cairbre Bascaon; 3. Cairbre Musc, who was the ancestor of O'Falvey, lords of
Corcaguiney, etc. Sabina (or Sadhbh), another sister, was the wife of MacNiadh
[nia], half King of Munster (of the Sept of Lughaidh, son of Ithe), by whom she
had a son named Maccon; and by her second husband Olioll Olum she had nine sons,
seven whereof were slain by their half brother Maccon, in the famous battle of
Magh Mucroimhe [muccrove], in the county of Galway, where also the Monarch Art
himself fell, siding with his brother-in-law Olioll Olum against the said
Maccon, after a reign of thirty years, A.D. 195. This Art was married to
Maedhbh, Leathdearg, the daughter of Conann Cualann; from this Queen, Rath
Maedhbhe, near Tara, obtained its name.
82. Cormac Ulfhada: son of Art
Eanfhear; married Eithne, daughter of Dunlang, King of Leinster; had three elder
brothers - 1. Artghen, 2. Boindia, 3. Bonnrigh. He had also six sons - 1.
Cairbre Lifeachar, 2. Muireadach, 3. Moghruith, 4. Ceallach, 5. Daire, 6. Aongus
Fionn: Nos. 4 and 5 left no issue. King Cormac Mac Art was the 115th Monarch of
Ireland; and was called "Ulfhada," because of his long beard. He was the wisest,
most learned, and best of any of the Milesian race before him, that ruled the
Kingdom. He ordained several good laws; wrote several learned treatises, among
which his treatise on "Kingly Government," directed to his son Carbry Liffechar,
is extant and extraordinary. He was very magnificent in his housekeeping and
attendants, having always one thousand one hundred and fifty persons in his
daily retinue constantly attending at his Great Hall at Tara; which was three
hundred feet long, thirty cubits high, and fifty cubits broad, with fourteen
doors to it. His daily service of plate, flagons, drinking cups of gold,
silver., and precious stone, at his table, ordinarily consisted of one hundred
and fifty pieces, besides dishes, etc., which were all pure silver or gold. He
ordained that ten choice persons should constantly attend him and his successors
- Monarchs of Ireland, and never to be absent from him, viz. - 1. A nobleman to
be his companion; 2. A judge to deliver and explain the laws of the country in
the King's presence upon all occasions; 3. An antiquary or historiographer to
declare and preserve the genealogies, acts, and occurrences of the nobility and
gentry from time to time as occasion required; 4. A Druid or Magician to offer
sacrifice, and presage good or bad omens, as his learning, skill, or knowledge
would enable him; 5. A poet to praise or dispraise every one according to his
good or bad actions; 6. A physician to administer physic to the king and queen,
and to the rest of the (royal) family; 7. A musician to compose music, and sing
pleasant sonnets in the King's presence when there-unto disposed; and 8, 9, and
10, three Stewards to govern the King's House in all things appertaining
thereunto. This custom was observed by all the succeeding Monarchs down to Brian
Boromha [Boru], the 175th Monarch of Ireland, and the 60th down from Cormac,
without any alteration only that since they received the Christian Faith they
changed the Druid or Magician for a Prelate of the Church.
What is besides delivered from
antiquity of this great Monarch is, that (which among the truly wise is more
valuable than any worldly magnificence or secular glory whatsoever) he was to
all mankind very just, and so upright in his actions, judgments, and laws, that
God revealed unto him the light of His Faith seven years before his death; and
from thenceforward he refused his Druids to worship their idol-gods, and openly
professed he would no more worship any but the true God of the Universe, the
Immortal and Invisible King of Ages. Whereupon the Druids sought his
destruction, which they soon after effected (God permitting it) by their
adjurations and ministry of damned spirits choking him as he sat at dinner
eating of salmon, some say by a bone of the fish sticking in his throat, A.D.
266, after he had reigned forty years. Of the six sons of Cormac Mac Art, no
issue is recorded from any [of them], but from Cairbre-Lifeachar; he had also
ten daughters, but there is no account of any of them only two - namely, Grace
(or Grania), and Ailbh [alve], who were both successively the wives of the great
champion and general of the Irish Militia, Fionn, the son of Cubhall [Coole].
The mother of Cormac MacArt was Eachtach, the daughter of Ulcheatagh.
Cormac was married to Eithne
Ollamhdha, daughter of Dunlang, son of Eana Niadh; she was fostered by Buiciodh
Brughach, in Leinster.
83. Cairbre-Lifeachar, the
117th Monarch of Ireland: son of King Cormac Mac Art; was so called from his
having been nursed by the side of the Liffey, the river on which Dublin is
built. His mother was Eithne, daughter of Dunlong, King of Leinster. He had
three sons - 1. Eochaidh Dubhlen; 2. Eocho; and 3. Fiacha Srabhteine, who was
the 120th Monarch of Ireland, and the ancestor of O'Neill, Princes of Tyrone.
Fiacha Srabhteine was so called, from his having been fostered at Dunsrabhteine,
in Connaught; of which province he was King, before his elevation to the
Monarchy. After seventeen years' reign, the Monarch Cairbre Lifeachar was slain
at the battle of Gabhra [Gaura], A.D. 284, by Simeon, the son of Ceirb, who came
from the south of Leinster to this battle, fought by the Militia of Ireland, who
were called the Fiana Erionn (or Fenians), and arising from a quarrel which
happened between the; in which the Monarch, taking part with one side against
the other, lost his life.
84. Fiacha Srabhteine, King of
Conacht, and the 120th Monarch of Ireland: son of Cairbre-Liffechar; married
Aoife, daughter of the King of Gall Gaodhal. This Fiacha, after 37 years' reign,
was, in the battleof Dubhcomar, A.D. 322, slain by his nephews, the Three
Collas, to make room for Colla Uais, who seized on, and kept, the Monarchy for
four years. From those three Collas the "Clan Colla" were so called.
85. Muireadach Tireach: son of
Fiacha Srabhteine; married Muirion, daughter of Fiachadh, King of Ulster; and
having, in A.D. 326, fought and defeated Colla Uais, and banished him and his
two brothers into Scotland, regained his father's Throne, which he kept as the
122nd Monarch for 30 years.
86. Eochaidh Muigh-Meadhoin
[Moyvone]: his son; was the 124th Monarch; and in the 8th year of his reign died
a natural death at Tara, A.D. 365; leaving issue four sons, viz., by his first
wife Mong Fionn: - I. Brian; II. Fiachra; III. Olioll; IV. Fergus. And, by his
second wife, Carthan Cais Dubh (or Carinna), daughter of the Celtic King of
Britain, - V. Niall Mór, commonly called "Niall of the Nine Hostages." Mong
Fionn was daughter of Fiodhach, and sister of Crimthann, King of Munster, of the
Heberian Sept, and successor of Eochaidh in the Monarchy. This Crimthann was
poisoned by his sister Mong-Fionn, in hopes that Brian, her eldest son by
Eochaidh, would succeed in the Monarchy. To avoid suspicion she herself drank of
the same poisoned cup which she presented to her brother; but, notwithstanding
that she lost her life by so doing, yet her expectations were not realised, for
the said Brian and her other three sons by the said Eochaidh were laid aside
(whether out of horror of the mother's inhumanity in poisoning her brother, or
otherwise, is not known), and the youngest son of Eochaidh, by Carthan Cais
Dubh, was preferred to the Monarchy. I. Brian, from him were descended the
Kings, nobility and gentry of Conacht - Tirloch Mór O'Connor, the 121st, and
Roderic O'Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland. II. Fiachra's descendants gave
their name to Tir-Fiachra ("Tireragh"), co. Sligo, and possessed also parts of
co. Mayo. III. Olioll's descendants settled in Sligo - in Tir Oliolla (or
Tirerill). This Fiachra had five sons: - 1. Earc Cuilbhuide; 2. Breasal; 3.
Conaire; 4. Feredach (or Dathi); and 5. Amhalgaidh.
87. Niall Mór: son of Eochaidh
Muigh-Meadhoin; a quo the "Uí Néill" of Ulster, Meath, and Conacht.
In Niall's rise to Kingship he
had to overcome his wicked stepmother, Mongfhinn, who abandoned him as a baby,
naked on a hill. He is raised by a wandering bard, Torna Eices. Sithchenn the
Smith fortells he will be High King. Then he comes across an old hag who demands
that he and his companions give her a kiss. Only Niall has the courage to do so,
and she turns into a beautiful woman named Flaithius ( Royalty), the
personification of sovranty. She fortells that he will be the greatest of
Ireland's High Kings. Niall is a very interesting historical figure, curiously
enough part of his story starts in England in 1919. In that year archeologists
discovered a hoard of Roman silver plate, dating from Valens (365-378) to the
early reign of Honorous (395-423 AD.). This find was compared to 1,506 Roman
silver coins from a 1854 excavation in County Londonderry which dated from
Constantius II to Honorius. It created great debate among English historians as
to how these coins were brought to England from the continent and buried. These
and other finds had coins from earlier times up to Honorus, but none beyond.
Including the North Mendip hoard; 2,042 coins from Constans to Honorous, there
were approximately 13 finds altogether. Who brought these coins to England and
Northern Ireland? After the Roman Emperor Theodosius I died (January 17, 385) it
gave the green light to the Franks, Saxons, Picts, Scots and Irish to sack the
European Continent, and they did. Honorius succeeded his father Theodosius and
sent The Roman Army under the Vandal Stilcho north to take care of the raiders.
Stilcho was successful in putting down the raiders on the continent, but he
could not stop the raiders from Ireland. The Roman historian Claudian makes it
clear that" the most formidable onslaught had come from Ireland under one
powerful leader acting in co-operation with the Picts and Saxons." Here is where
we get back to Niall, the Irish Annals of the Four Masters states that "Niall
began to reign in 379. He was not only the paramount king of Ireland, but one of
the most powerful to ever hold that office, and was therefore one of the few
Irish kings able to mobilize great forces for foreign expeditions." Niall went
to Scotland in order to strengthen his power and gained alliances with the Scots
and Picts, he then marched to Laegria and sent a fleet to Armorica (France) in
order to plunder. He established the Dal Riada which was the name for this
conglomeration of Irish, Scots and Picts. These raids led to amazing results.
Keating in his History of Ireland states that "St. Patrick was brought as a
captive to Ireland in the ninth year in the reign of Niall," it was this time
when Niall was on his expedition to Scotland and France. An Irish fleet went to
the place where Patrick dwelt, then aged 16 years, and as was the custom of the
Irish, they brought a large number of hostages with them along with Patrick's
two sisters Lupida and Daererca. Niall had pillaged Wales, Scotland, England and
France. Keating also states that "Niall having taken many captives returned to
Ireland and proceeded to assemble additional forces and sent word to the chief
of the Dal Riada, requesting him to follow with all his host to France." Niall
set out for the new adventure with Gabhran, the chief of the Del Raida, to
plunder France at the river Loire. With this group was Eochaida who had been
banished as the King of Leinster and had plans to be the High King of Ireland.
While crossing The English Channel Niall was killed by an arrow from Eochaida.
Niall had been High King of Ireland for twenty-seven years. Niall played a great
part in breaking down Roman power in Britain and France between the years of 379
and 406. Keating states that "Wales ceased to be controlled by the central
government from 380-400 due to Niall". Prof. Sir William Ridgeway states that
the coins found in the excavations mentioned earlier were brought back by
Niall's companions after his death and buried. And the interest created by the
coins helped to make Niall a historical reality. A lot of what is now known
about Niall was found while digging around to answer the questions about the
coins. Niall of the Nine Hostages died a pagan, but after the dawn of
Christianity in Ireland, his descendants were foremost in promoting and endowing
the Christian Church in Ireland, and nearly 300 of them were canonized as
He was twice married: - his
first Queen was Inne, the daughter of Luighdheach, who was the relict of
Fiachadh; his second Queen was Roigneach, by whom he had Nos. I., II., III.,
IV., V., VI., and VII., as given below. This Niall Mór succeeded his Uncle
Crimthann; and was the 126th Monarch of Ireland. He was a stout, wise, and
warlike prince, and fortunate in all his conquests and achievements, and
therefore called "Great." He was also called Niall Naoi-Ghiallach or "Niall of
the Nine Hostages," from the royal hostages taken from nine several countries by
him subdued and made tributary: viz., - 1. Munster, 2. Leinster, 3. Connacht, 4.
Ulster, 5. Britain, 6. the Picts, 7. the Dalriads, 8. the Saxons, and 9. the
Morini - a people of France, towards Calais and Piccardy; whence he marched with
his victorious army of Irish, Scots, Picts, and Britons, further into France, in
order to aid the Celtic natives in expelling the Roman Eagles, and thus to
conquer that portion of the Roman Empire; and, encamping on the river Leor (now
called Lianne), was, as he sat by the river side, treacherously assassinated by
Eocha, son of Enna Cinsalach, king of Leinster, in revenge of a former "wrong"
by him received from the said Niall. The spot on the Leor (not "Loire") where
this Monarch was murdered is still called the "Ford of Niall," near
Boulogne-sur-mer. It was in the ninth year of his reign that St. Patrick was
first brought into Ireland, at the age of 16 years, among two hundred children
brought by the Irish Army out of Little Brittany (called also Armorica), in
France. Niall Mór was the first that gave the name of Scotia Minor to
"Scotland," and ordained it to be ever after so called; until then it went by
the name of "Alba."
Niall had twelve sons: - I.
Eoghan (who gave his name to Tir Eoghain or Tyrone); II. Laeghaire (or Leary),
the 128th Monarch, in the 4th year of whose reign St. Patrick, the second time,
came into Ireland to plant the Christian Faith, A.D. 432; III. Conall Crimthann,
ancestor of O'Melaghlin, Kings of Meath; IV. Conall Gulban, ancestor of
O'Donnell (princes, lords, and earls of the territory of Tirconnell - Donegal),
and of O'Boyle, O'Dogherty, O'Gallagher, etc.; V. Fiacha, from whom the
territory from Birr to the Hill of Uisneach in Media Hiberniae (or Meath) is
called "Cineal Fiacha," and from him MacGeoghagan, lords of that territory,
O'Molloy, O'Donechar, Donaher (or Dooner), etc., derive their pedigree; VI.
Main, whose patrimony was all the tract of land from Lochree to Loch Annin, near
Mullingar, and from whom are descended Fox (lords of the Muintir Tagan
territory), MacGawley, O'Dugan, O'Mulchonry (the princes antiquaries of
Ireland), O'Henergy, etc.; VII. Cairbre, ancestor of OFlanagan, of Tua Ratha,
"Muintir Cathalan" (or Cahill) etc.; VIII. Fergus (a quo "Cineal Fergusa" or
Ferguson), ancestor of O'Hagan, etc.; IX. Enna; X. Aongus or Æneas; XI.
Ualdhearg; and XII. Fergus Altleathan. Of these last four sons we find no issue.
88. Eoghan (Eugene, or Owen):
son of Niall Mór; from whom the territory of "Tir-Eoghan" (now Tirowen or
Tyrone), in Ulster is so called. From this Owen came (among others) the
following families: O'Cahan, or O'Cane, O'Daly of "Leath Cuinn" (or the kingdoms
of Meath, Ulster, and Conacht), O'Crean, Grogan, O'Carolan, etc.
This Eoghan, Prince of Ulster,
was baptized by St. Patrick at the Royal Palace of Aileach; and our Ulster
Annalists state that it was his foot which was pierced by the Bacchal Iosa
during the ceremony.
89. Muireadach (III.): son of
Eoghan; was married to Earca, daughter of Loarn, King of Dalriada in Scotland,
and by her had many sons and daus., two of them are especially mentioned: -
Muirceartach Mór, and Fergus Mór, both called "Mac Earca." From this Fergus Mór
descended the Kings of Scotland, and thence, through Queen Matilda, the Kings of
England, including the Royal Houses of Plantagenet, Stuart, and D'Este.
This Muireadach who had a
brother named Eachagh Binneach, had twelve sons: - I. and II. above mentioned;
III. Fearach (or Fearadach), ancestor of Mac Cathmhaoil (or Cowell, Campbell,
etc.); IV. Tigernach, ancestor of O'Cunigan, and O'h-Easa (anglicised Hosey,
Hussey, and O'Swell); V. Mongan, ancestor of O'Croidhen (Creedon or Croydon),
O'Donnelly, etc.; VI. Dalach: VII. Maon, ancestor of O'Gormley, OMaolmichil,
O'Doraigen, ("dor:" Ir. a confine; "aigein," the ocean), anglicised Dorrine,
Dorien, and modernized Dorrian; VIII. Fergus; IX. and X. named Loarn; XI. and
XII. called Aongus.
In the 20th year of the reign
of the Monarch Lughaidh, the son of Laeghaire, with a complete army, Fergus Mór
Mac Earca, (with his five brothers, VIII., IX., X., XI., and XII., above
mentioned went into Scotland to assist his grandfather King Loarn, who was much
oppressed by his enemies the Picts; who were vanquished by Fergus and his party,
who prosecuted the war so vigorously, followed the enemy to their own homes, and
reduced them to such extremity, that they were glad to accept peace upon the
conqueror's own conditions; whereupon, on the King's death, which happened about
the same time, the said Fergus Mór Mac Earca was unanimously elected and chosen
king as being of the blood royal by his mother. And the said Fergus, for a good
and lucky omen, sent to his brother, who was then Monarch of Ireland, for the
Marble Seat called "Saxum Fatale" (in Irish, Liath Fail, and
Cloch-na-Cinneamhna, implying in English the Stone of Destiny or Fortune), to be
crowned thereon; which happened accordingly; for, as he was the first absolute
King of all Scotland of the Milesian Race, so the succession continued in his
blood and lineage ever since to this day.
90. Muirceartach (or
Muriartach) Mór Mac Earca: his son. This Muriartach, the eldest son of
Muireadach (3), was the 131st Monarch of Ireland; reigned 24 years; and died
naturally in his bed, which was rare among the Irish Monarchs in those days; but
others say he was burned in a house after being "drowned in wine" (meaning that
he was under the influence of drink) on All-Halontide (or All-Hallow) Eve, A.D.
527. Married Duinseach, daughter of Duach Teangabha, King of Conacht. He had
issue - I. Donal Ilchealgach; II. Fergus, who became the 135th Monarch; III.
Baodan (or Boetanus), who was the 137th Monarch of Ireland, and was the father
of Lochan Dilmhain, a quo Dillon, according to some genealogists; IV. Colman
Rimidh, the 142nd Monarch; V. Néiline; and VI. Scanlan.
91. Donal Ilchealgach
(Ilchealgach: Irish, deceitful): eldest son of Muirceartach; was the 134th
Monarch; reigned jointly with his brother Fergus for three years: these princes
were obliged to make war on the people of Leinster; fought the memorable battle
of Gabhrah-Liffé, where four hundred of the nobility and gentry of that province
were slain, together with the greater part of the army.
In this reign Dioman Mac
Muireadhach, who governed Ulster ten years, was killed by Bachlachuibh. Donal
and Fergus both died of "the plague," in one day, A.D. 561.
92. Aodh (or Hugh): Donal's
son; Prince of Ulster. This Aodh Uariodhnach was the 143rd Monarch; he had
frequent wars, but at length defeated his enemies in the battle of Odhbha, in
which Conall Laoghbreag, son of Aodh Slaine, was killed. Soon after this battle,
the Monarch Aodh was killed in the battle of Da Fearta, A.D. 607.
93. Maolfreach: his son;
Prince of Ulster; had at least two sons: - 1. Maoldoon; and II. Maoltuile, a quo
Multully, Tully, and Flood of Ulster.
94. Maoldoon: his son; Prince
of Ulster; had two sons: I. Fargal; and II. Adam, who was ancestor to O'Daly of
"Leath Cuin." His wife was Cacht, daughter of Maolchabha, King of Cineall
95. Fargal: son of Maoldoon,
was the 156th Monarch of Ireland; was slain, in A.D. 718, by Moroch, King of
Leinster. Married Aithiochta, daughter of Cein O'Connor, King of Conacht. This
Fargal had four sons: I. Niall Frassach; II. Connor (or Conchobhar), who was
ancestor of O'Cahan; III. Hugh Allan (or Aodh Olann), the 160th Monarch, and
ancestor of O'Brian, of Ulster; and IV. Colca, a quo Culkin.
96. Niall Frassach: son of
Fargal; married Bridget, daughter of Orca, son of Carrthone; was called
"frassach" from certain miraculous showers that fell in his time (a shower of
honey, a shower of money, and a shower of blood); was the 162nd Monarch of
Ireland; and, after seven years' reign, retired to St. Columb's Monastery at
Hye, in Scotland, A.D. 765, where he died in A.D. 773; issue: Aodh Fearcar, and
97. Aodh Ordnigh: son of Niall
Frassach; was the 164th Monarch; and, after 25 years' reign, was slain in the
battle of Fearta, A.D. 817. Was married to Meadhbh, dau of Ionrachtach, King of
Durlus. In his reign prodigious thunder and lightning occurred, which killed
many men, women, and children all over the Kingdom, particularly in a nook of
the country between Corcavaskin and the sea in Munster, by which one thousand
and ten persons were destroyed. In his reign occurred many prodigies - the
forerunner of the Danish Invasion, which soon after followed. This Monarch had
four sons: I. Naill Caille; II. Maoldoon, a quo "Siol Muldoon;" III. Fogartach,
ancestor of Muintir Cionaodh or Kenny; and IV. Blathmac.
98. Niall Caille: son of Aodh
Ordnigh; was the 166th Monarch of Ireland; and was so called after his death
from the river "Caillen," where he was drowned, A.D. 844, after 13 years' reign.
He fought many battles with the Danes and Norwegians, in most of which although
the Danes were worsted, yet the continual supplies pouring unto them made them
very formidable; (so much so) that in this reign they took and fortified Dublin
and other strong places upon the sea-coasts. Married Gormfhliath, daughter of
Donogh, son of Donal. This Monarch had five sons: I. Aodh Finnliath; II.
Dubhionracht, a quo O'Dubhionrachta; III. Aongus; IV. Flahertach, ancestor of
O'Hualairg or Mac Ualairg, anglicised Mac Golderick, Goderick, Golding,
Goulding, Waller, etc.; V. Braon, a quo Clan Braoin of Mogh Ithe (Moy Ith).
99. Aodh Finnliath, i.e.
Hoary: son of Niall Caille; was the 168th Monarch of Ireland; reigned for
sixteen years, during which time he fought and defeated the Danes in several
battles and was worsted in others; he died at Drom-Enesclann, A.D. 876. This
Aodh married Maolmare or Mary, daughter of Keneth, the son of Alpin - both Kings
of Scotland. He had two sons: I. Niall Glundubh; and II. Donal, who was King of
Aileach, and ancestor of the family of MacLaughlin (or O'Laughlin), some of whom
were Monarchs of Ireland; and of O'Donnelly, whose chief was, A.D. 1177, slain
at Down by Sir John de Courcey, first "Earl of Ulster."
100. Niall ("niall," gen.
"neill:" Irish, a champion) Glundubh [gloonduv]: son of Aodh Finnliath, was the
170th Monarch of Ireland; and reigned for three years. He had many conflicts
with the Danes, in which, generally, he was victorious. At length, making up a
great army, in order to besiege Dublin, a great battle was fought between them,
wherein the Monarch lost his life, and after great slaughter on both sides, his
army was routed, A.D. 919. He revived the great Fair at Tailtean.
From this Monarch the sirname
O'Neill or "Clan-na-Neil," Neilson, Nelson and Nilson are derived. Niall
Glundubh left issue: I. Muriartach na-Cochall, Prince of Ulster, who left no
issue; and II. Murchertach.
101. Murchertach: that second
son (called "The Hector of Western Europe") and Roydamna; was married and left
issue. This Prince was slain by Blacaire, lord of the Danes, 26th March, A.D.
102. Donal of Armagh: his son;
was the 173rd Monarch; died at Armagh, after 24 years' reign, A.D. 978. During
his long reign we find but little progress by him (made) against the encroaching
Danes; he wholly bent his arms against his subjects; preying, burning, and
slaughtering the people of Conacht, whether deservedly or otherwise we know not,
but we know it was no reasonable time for them to fall foul upon one another,
while their common enemy was victoriously triumphing over them both.
103. Moriartach na-Midhe: his
son; was the first that assumed the sirname and title of "THE GREAT O'NEILL,
Prince of Tyrone, and of Ulster.
104. Flathartach An Frostain:
his son; Prince of Ulster.
105. Aodh Athlamh: his son;
Prince of Tyrone; had two sons: - I. Donall an Togdhamh; and II. Aodh Anrachan,
who was ancestor of MacSweeney.
106. Donall an Togdhamh: his
son; Prince of Ulster, had a daughter Joan.
107. Flahertach Locha Hadha:
his son; was Prince of Tyrone.
108. Connor na-Fiodhbha: his
son; Prince of Ulster and Tyrone; was murdered, A.D. 1170.
109. Teige Glinne: his son;
Prince of Tyrone.
110. Mortogh Muighe Line: his
son; Prince of Ulster.
111. Aodh (or Hugh) an Macaomh
Toinleasg: his son; slain A.D. 1177, by Malachlan and Ardgal O'Loughlin (his
kinsmen), but the latter fell by the hand of O'Neill in the conflict. This Aodh
was styled "Lord of Tirowen," "King of the Cineal Owen," "King of Aileach,"
"King of North Erin," etc.
He had two sons
1. Niall Ruadh
2. Aodh (or Hugh) Dubh,
who, some say, was the elder son.
The line of O Neill, Princes
of Tyrone, continues as follows
112. Niall Ruadh ("ruadh:"
Irish, red): son of Aodh (or Hugh) an Macaomh Toinleasg, anglicised Roe and
Rowe: a family honourably represented (in 1887) by Henry Roe, Esq., of
Thomas-street, Dublin. This Niall Ruadh was Prince of Ulster, and was married to
Nuala (died 1226), daughter of Roderic O'Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland.
113. Brian Catha Duin: his
son; may be reckoned as the 184th Monarch of Ireland. Had three sons: - I.
Donal; II. Niall, died 1314; III. Murrogh, died 1356.
Under A.D. 1258, the Four
Masters say of this Brian: -
"Hugh, the son of Felim
O'Connor and Teige O'Brien, marched with a great force to Caol Uisge (near
Newry), to hold a conference with Brian O'Neill, to whom the foregoing chiefs
granted the sovereignty over the Irish; and they agreed that the hostages of
Hugh O'Connor should be given to him as sureties for the fulfilment of this
compact, and that the hostages of O'Reilly's people, and also those of
Hy-Briuin, from Kells to Drumcliff, should be likewise given to Hugh, the son of
After this Brian's death on
the battlefield of Drom Deirg, at Dundaleathglas (Downpatrick), commanding the
Irish forces against the English, in defence of his Crown and kingdom, he was
succeeded in the Principality of Ulster by the famous Hugh Buidhe, son of Donal
Oge, son of Hugh Dubh, the ancestor of O'Neill of Clanaboy.
114. Donal (VI): his son; King
of Ulster, and heir to the Monarchy of Ireland, became The O'Neill, on the death
of Aodh Buidhe (or Yellow Hugh), in 1283. After the battle of Bannockburn, in
Scotland, A.D. 1314, Edward, brother to the illustrious Robert Bruce, was
invited to accept the Sovereignty of Ireland. In his favour this Donal sought to
resign his title, which, owing to the Irish Constitution (the Brehon Law), he
could not do.
Donal had five sons: - I.
Hugh; II. Roderic, slain, 1365; III. Shane, slain, 1318; IV. Brian, slain, 1319;
and V. Cu Uladh, killed, 1325.
115. Hugh: his son; Prince of
Ulster, etc.; "the best Irishman of his time:" died 1364. Issue: I. Neil Mór;
II. Brian (died 1369); and four daughters.
116. Neil Mór: his son; was
"Prince of the Irish in Ulster," when Richard II., King of England, visited
Ireland (at Dundalk), in 1394. He was styled "Le Grand O'Neill" by the
Anglo-Normans; and by the Irish he was called "the defender of Ireland," "the
champion of dignity, and pre-eminence of the principality," "the unyielding
tower against tyranny," etc. He had issue: - 1. Neil Oge. II. Henry (died 1392),
who had issue - 1. Donal; 2. Hugh (who escaped from the prison in Dublin, in
1412, having been confined ten years there by the English); 3. Niall (died
1430); 4. Brian (died 1401). III. Graine (died 1429), married Turlogh O'Donnell
"of the Wine." IV. Cu Uladh Ruadh (died 1399).
This Neil Mór was married to
Gormley (died 1397), daughter of John O'Donnell.
117. Neil Oge: his son; Prince
of Tyrone, etc.; married to Una (died 1417), daughter of Donal O'Neill. Issue:
I. Owen; II. Brian (died of small-pox, 1402); six other sons; and a daughter,
Una, married to Rory O'Sullivan, Prince of Dunkerron. This Neil Oge died in
1402, and was succeeded in the Principality by Donal, son of Henry, son of Neil
Mór. This Donal (called "Donal Bocc") was, in 1432, slain in O'Cahan's Country,
by Donal Aibhne O'Cahan.
118. Owen: son of Neil Oge;
was, in 1432, on the death of Donal Bocc, inaugurated The O'Neill; married
Catherine (died 1427), daughter of Ardgal MacMahon. Issue: - I. Henry; II. Hugh,
of the Fews, died 1475; III. Felim, died 1461; IV. Murtagh; V. Art, died 1458;
VI. Connor; VII. Niall; VIII. Brian Mór; IX. Conla; X. Donal Claragh, killed
1493. This Owen died in 1456, and was succeeded by:
119. Henry: his son; Prince of
Ulster, etc.; married Gormley Cavenagh (died 1465), daughter of MacMurrogh, King
of Leinster. This Henry "was inaugurated The O'Neill, in 1455, by the coarb of
St. Patric, together with Maguire, MacMahon, O'Cahan, and all the O'Neills, at
Tullaghoge, according to the usual customs." Issue: I. Conn; II. Roderic
Baccach, killed by the sons of Art O'Neill, 1470; III. Tuathal, killed by the
Anglo-Normans, who intruded on the Plain of O'Neill, 1476; IV. Donal, died Aug.,
1509; V. Henry Oge, died 1498; VI. Slaine, married to Turlogh Donn O'Brien; VII.
Art, killed in 1502, by Art, son of Conn, son of Henry. This Henry died in 1489,
and was succeeded by:
120. Conn: his son, as Prince
of Ulster, of Tyrone, etc.; married, in 1483, Elinora (died 1497), daughter of
Thomas (the 7th Earl), the son of John Cam, the 6th Earl of Kildare; and had by
her issue: I. Conn Baccach; II. Art Oge (died 1519) had a son, Neal Connelagh,
who had a son Turlogh Luinagh, whose son was called Sir Arthur O'Neill; III.
Niall, died 1497; IV. Turlough killed by MacMahon, 1501, left no issue; V. John
of Kinard, had a son, whose son was Sir Henry O'Neill, whose son was Sir Henry
O'Neill, who had a son Sir Phelim, murdered by the English, 1650; VI. Deila;
VII. Judith, married to Manus O'Donnell, she died Aug., 1535, aged 42 years, and
was interred in the Franciscan Convent, Donegal; VIII. Eliza, married to
In 1493, this Conn, "the
bountiful bestower of valuable presents and property, was (say the Four Masters)
treacherously slain by his his own brother, Henry Oge;" and was succeeded in the
Principality by his uncle Donal, who was opposed by Henry Oge; which opposition
was not lawful, as Donal was the senior. They quarrelled till 1497, when Henry
Oge gave great presents to Donal, in horses and armour, for resigning the title.
In 1498, "Henry Oge was (according to the Four Masters) slain in the house of
Art, son of Hugh, son of Owen (No. 118), in Tuath Eachach (Iveagh, county Down),
by the two sons of Conn, son of Henry, son of Owen, namely Turlogh and Conn
Bacchach, in revenge of their father Conn, who had been previously killed by
Henry, in the year 1493." Donal thus became undisputed Prince of Tyrone; he died
unlamented, on the 6th of Aug., 1509. Art, son of Hugh, son of Owen (No. 118),
was chosen his successor. This Art died in 1514, when Art Oge, son of Conn (No.
119), was made The O'Neill. In 1519 Art Oge died and was succeeded by his
121. Conn Bacchach: son of
Conn, as Prince of Ulster. Hugh, the son of his uncle Donal, gave him no little
trouble, as he too aspired to the Principality, until in the year 1524, in a
bloody engagement between them, the said Hugh lost his life; and being thus rid
of all competitors, Conn began to follow the example of his ancestors, who, upon
all occasions and prospects of success, were up in arms in opposition to the
English invaders, endeavouring to drive them from the country; and recover their
liberties and their right to the Irish Crown, worn by their ancestors for many
ages, successively, as above shown; but all in vain. And this Conn Bacchach
trying his fortunes in the same manner, and finding his endeavours to be to as
little purpose as were those of his forefathers, did for a time submit; and,
going into England, was, upon his openly renouncing his ancient title of O'Neill
and Prince of Tyrone, favourably received by King Henry VIII., in Greenwich, in
Conn thus seemingly renounced
a title "in comparison of which," says Camden, "the very title of Cæsar is
contemptible in Ireland; and taking upon him the barbarian Anglo-Saxon title of
Iarl, or Earl of Tyrone; and doing homage to Henry as King of Ireland and Head
of the Church; who on his side adorned him with a golden chain, saluted him
`beloved cousin,' and so returned him richly plated." At the same time the title
of "baron of Dungannon" was conferred on his illegitimate son, who is called
"Mathew" by Sir James Ware in his Annals of Ireland, but in the Pedigree is
entered "Ferdorach." These foreign titles, with Conn's conduct, were so deeply
resented by SHANE AND DIOMUIS (by Ware called "Shane Dowlenach" or
O'Dongaileach, from being fostered by O'Dongaileach or O'Donnelly, Chief of
Ballydonnelly, or Charlemont, in Tyrone), the eldest of Conn's legitimate sons,
that he, with O'Donnell, MacGuire, and the other Ulster chieftains broke out in
rebellion against him. This act of Conn's, in submitting to a foreign prince,
has met with universal astonishment, inasmuch as he on a former occasion
solemnly cursed his offspring if he should ever speak the Saxon tongue, sow
corn, or build houses in imitation of the English; and who led his troops to the
south, burned Atherdee and Navan to the ground, and from the Hill of Tara - the
palace of his ancestors - warned off the servile nobles of the Pale from the
frontiers of Ulster. But this one act alienated his subjects, and Shane was made
The O'Neill in his place.
Ferdorach was executed in
1558. Conn Bacchach married Alice, daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th Earl of
Kildare, and had by her issue: I. Shane; II. Tirlogh; III. Felim Caoch, who had
a son Turlogh, who was father of Phelim; IV. Mary, who died in 1582, and who
married Sorley Buidhe MacDonnell; with three other daughters. This Conn was born
1484, died 1559, and was succeeded by his son:
122. Shane an Diomuis (i.e.
John the Proud or Haughty): eldest legitimate son of Conn Bacchach; set no value
on his father's "earldom," refused such badge of servitude, was duly inaugurated
The O'Neill, and "King of Ulster" about A.D. 1550. Not receiving due submission
from O'Donnell, he, in 1556, went to war with him, and, in 1559, Calvach
O'Donnell, Prince of Tirconnell, was subdued and taken prisoner. In 1560, Shane
was undisputed Ruler of Ulster, from "Drogheda to the Erne." In 1563, he visited
Queen Elizabeth, as an independent sovereign prince, when she recognized him as
The O'Neill, "with all the authority and pre-eminence of his ancestors." After a
time the English recommenced to encroach on his territories, planted soldiers on
his frontiers, his subjects were incited to rebel against him by the English
Government; till at length, in 1567, he is betrayed by the Scots (the
MacDonnells), instigated by an English officer named Piers; and slaughtered,
with most of his followers, in North Clan-atha-buidhe (or North Clanaboy), near
Cushendun, in the county of Antrim. After he had been buried four days, William
Piers exhumed the body, cut off his head, and carried it "pickled in a pipkin,"
to Dublin, to Sir Henry Sydney, who ordered it to be placed on a pole on the top
of Dublin Castle! Piers got one thousand marks for thus so effectually carrying
out the instructions of his government. Shane's headless trunk was re-interred
where he was murdered, about three miles from Cushendun, where the tourist can
still be shown the "Grave of Shane O'Neill."
This Shane was married to Mary
(died 1561), daughter of Calvach O'Donnell (by his first wife), Prince of
Tir-Connell; and had issue: - I. John Oge, killed 1581, s.p.; II. Conn; III.
Thomas; IV. Elana; V. Henry; VI. Art, died from exposure in the Wicklow
mountains, in 1592; VII. Margaret, married to Teige O'Doyne; with two others. He
had, besides, illegitimate children, one of whom was named Hugh Geimhleach (i.e.
"of the Fetters"), and was also incorrectly called "Conn MacShane," by a few
modern writers. This Hugh, was, in 1590, for betraying to the English Aodh
O'Neill's dealings with the Spaniards, seized by orders of his lawful Prince,
and tried for various robberies and murders which he had committed within The
O'Neill's jurisdiction; for which he was sentenced to death, and in January,
1590, said Hugh Geimhleach was hanged by Loughlin Mac-Murtogh and his brother -
both natives of Fermanagh.
In A.D. 1569, the English
passed an Act of Attainder against the "late John O'Neill;" and all his
extensive estates, nearly all the Tribe Lands of the Sept, together with the
greater part of Tyr-Owen, were seized by the English Crown, and various parts
thereof planted with English and Scotch settlers.
Immediately after the murder
of Shane, the Prince of Ulster, Tirlogh Luineach (or Turlogh Luinagh) was, at
the instigation of the English Government, made The O'Neill, in preference to
Shane's two brothers - Tirloch and Felim Caoch ("caoch:" Irish, dim-sighted), or
to Shane's son Conn. Tirloch Luineach died at Strabane in 1595, and was buried
at Ardstraw (Irish, Ardstratha) in Tyrone.
Feardorach (or Mathew), son of
Conn Bacchach, and half brother of Shane, was, by the English, made "Baron of
Dungannon;" he married Judith, daughter of Cuchonnacht Magennis, and had by her:
I. Brian, the second "Baron of Dungannon," who was slain, s. p. in 1561; II.
Aodh (or Hugh), virtual Ard Righ, of whom again; and two illegitimate sons; III.
Sir Cormac, who had a son, Conn, whose sons were Hugh Oge, and Brian, both died
s. p.; IV. Sir Art. This Sir Art married and had three sons: - 1. Art Oge, who
was father of Hugh Dubh, the renowned defender of Limerick and Governor of
Clonmel, in 1650; 2. the famous Owen Roe O'Neill, who was Commander-in-Chief of
the Irish Confederate Forces in Ulster, in the war subsequent to 1641, and who
was poisoned, he died at Clough Oughter Castle, on the 6th of Nov., 1649. Owen
Roe married and left four sons: - 1. Henry (slain in 1649), who left a son Hugh;
2. Brian, whose son was Owen, the last Earl of Tyrone, in Spain; 3. Conn, who
had two sons: - Owen, a Colonel in the French Service; and Luaghadh (or Lewis)
an officer in the French Service; and 4. John, who became a monk. The third son
of Sir Art was Conn, who had two sons: - 1. Daniel, and 2. Brian, whose son Conn
died in Spain.
On the "Plantation of Ulster"
Sir Art (MacBaron) in his old age was removed from his own territory of
O'Neilan, and got in exchange an estate of 2,000 acres during the lives of
himself and his wife.
(II.) Aodh O'Neill, the second
son of Feardorach, above mentioned, was, during the lifetime of Tirlogh,
designated his successor, in 1587; Queen Elizabeth solemnly made him "Earl of
Tyrone:" in order, says Connellan, "to suppress the name and authority of
O'NEILL;" and in May, 1588, with Tirlogh's consent, he was duly and solemnly
inaugurated The O'Neill, in the Rath of Tullaghoge. On the Stone of Royalty,
amidst the circling warriors, the Bards and Ollamhs of Uladh, he took the oath
"to preserve all the ancient former customs of the country inviolable," etc.;
and on the death of Tirlogh, he became the Prince of Ulster. He was four times
married: first, to Judith, daughter of Sir Hugh O'Donnell, and sister to the
celebrated Red Hugh, she died early in 1591; he married, secondly, in July,
1591, Mabel Bagnal, who died 1596; thirdly, to Catherine, daughter of Magennis
of Down; and, fourthly, to ____; he had issue by Catherine: 1. Hugh (died 1609),
called "Baron of Dungannon;" 2. Henry (died s.p.), a Colonel in the Spanish
Service; 3. John, Conde de Tyrone, a General in the Spanish Service; 4. Bryan (a
page to the Archduke), who was strangled in his bedroom at Brussels, in 1617, by
an English assassin; and 5. Conn, a natural son, a prisoner in the Tower, who
had a son - Feardorach, of whose descendants we, at present, know nothing.
From his great military
genius, this Aodh has been called "The Irish Hannibal." In the reign of Queen
Elizabeth this Aodh (or Hugh) exercised the authority of Ard-Righ or Monarch, in
electing both native and Anglo-Norman chieftains, etc. He died at Rome, blind
and worn out, in 1616.
123. Conn: son of Shane an
Diomuis; hereditary Prince of Ulster; was elected "The O'Neill" in 1590, as
successor to Aodh; but his patrimony being now wrested from him, his people
disorganized, and strangers in his strongholds, he was forced to lead an
inactive life. He resided usually at Strabane; was married to Nuala O'Donnell,
and by her had issue: I. Art Oge; II. Cu-Uladh, who retired to Scotland, where
he married and had issue; III. Mór, became a Nun; IV. Eoghan, married and had
issue; V. Brian, who was killed by an Englishman named Tempest; VI. Flann, died
unm. at Strabane. This Conn died in 1598, at an advanced age.
124. Art Oge: his son;
hereditary Prince of Ulster. Owing to the seizure of his country by James I., of
England, and the consequent "Ulster Plantation," this Art's inheritance was
overrun by Scotch and English settlers, many of whom generously held for him
part of his estates in trust. He was born in 1565; resided partly in Strabane
and Dungannon; married Sinead Ni Airt (or Joanna O'Hart), by whom he had four
children: I. Conn Ruadh, who died s.p.; II. Shane; III. Rose; IV. Aodh Dubh, who
was a Major-General in the Austrian Army, married in 1641, Mary Sibylla,
daughter of a German Prince, and had issue; died 1650. Art Oge O'Neill died in
1622, in Strabane, and was buried at Ardstraw.
125. Shane: his second son;
hereditary Prince of Ulster; lived, like his father, in Strabane and Dungannon;
born 1599; married when only 19 years of age, Kathleen O'Donnell of Tirconnell,
by whom he had issue: I. Thomas; II. Art, died s.p.; III. Conn, who married and
removed to Munster; IV. Eoghan, who married and emigrated to North America; V.
Robert, who married and had issue - extinct in 1866; VI. Meadhbh, who married a
Shane died in 1643, at
Strabane, and was buried with his fathers at Ardstraw.
126. Thomas his son;
hereditary Prince of Ulster; born 1619; married Angelina, the daughter of Aodh
Dubh O'Neill, by whom he had issue: I. Teige; II. Shane, who entered the Spanish
Army; III. Mór, who married a Scotch "laird;" and IV. Kate.
This Thomas resided at
Inishowen, and, in 1670, was found dead on the western shore of Lough Foyle, a
dagger being stuck to the hilt in his back: a deed performed, it was believed,
by two English spies. He was buried in Derry-Colum-cill (now Londonderry).
127. Teige: his son;
hereditary Prince of Ulster; born in 1641; resided at Dungannon; married Mary
O'Donnell, by whom he had issue: I. Henry; II. Brian; III. John. (These two
brothers - Brian and John - went as "soldiers of fortune" to France, thence to
Portugal; they married two cousins of Maguire, of Fermanagh, before leaving
Ireland; eight of their descendants, in 1807, on the invasion of Portugal by the
French, went with the House of Braganza to Brazil, where some of their
descendants now (1887) reside.) IV. Robert, married a Miss Stuart, of Argyle,
and had issue; V. Rose, married a gentleman named MacCallum, of Scotland.
This Teige died in 1690, and
was buried at Ardstraw.
(IV.) Robert with his family
emigrated to the United States of North America, where he changed his name to
Paine, so as to preserve his life from assassins. It was one of his descendants
who, under the name of "Robert Francis Paine," signed the Declaration of
American Independence, on the 4th of July, 1776; and whose portrait is still to
be seen in the old Congress Hall at Philadelphia. Descendants of this Robert are
now holders of large estates in many of the States of the great American
Republic, and many others of them are engaged in mechanical and mercantile
pursuits in that rising nation.
128. Henry: eldest son of
Teige; hereditary Prince of Ulster; born in Dungannon, 1665; married Fionualla
O'Gormley, by whom he had issue: I. Art; II. Judith, and III. Kate (twins); IV.
Aodh; V. Shane (died s.p.); VI. Roderic, and VII. Nora (twins); VIII. Cu-Uladh,
who entered the English Army under a feigned name, and was strangled in London;
IX. Delia, married George MacCarthy, had issue; X. Cormac, born three months
after his father's death, married and removed to co. Cork, where his descendants
yet are to be found amongst the peasantry.
Kate died in infancy, Judith
went to her cousins in Portugal, with Roderic and Nora, all married and had
issue. Aodh married Matilda O'Connor, had issue, location now (1887) unknown.
This Henry O'Neill was cousin
to Colonel Sir Neill, who was, in 1690, killed at the Boyne. He (Henry) changed
his name to Paine (modernized Payne), so as to preserve both his life and a
portion of his Ulster estates. He entered the Army of William III., and obtained
the "head rents" of large tracts of land in the county of Cork, and other parts
of Ireland, in addition to a small portion of the Sept lands he still held in
Ulster. He resided for a short time in North Clanaboy; afterwards at Dungannon,
whence he removed to the shelter of his kinsman Neal O'Neal of Cloon, co.
Leitrim, where, notwithstanding all his precautions, he fell a victim to his
hereditary enemies, being assassinated in 1698, at Foxford, co. Mayo.
129. Art O'Neill, alias
"Payne:" son of Henry; hereditary Prince of Ulster; born 1687; made The O'Neill
on May Eve, 1709, at Aileach; married Kate O'Toole, daughter of Garret O'Toole,
of Power's Court, county Wicklow, and had by her: I. Nial. II. Thomas, who
emigrated to America; III. Francis, who married a Miss Bellsang, and had issue;
IV. Lawrence, who married a Miss Collins, and had two sons and one daughter; V.
Nuala, died in infancy; VI. Rose, who married James Talbot, went with him to
England, and had issue; VII. Ada, who married also a Talbot, and went to
England; VIII. Mór, who married Henry O'Cahan, of Derry; IX. Joan, who married
Felim MacCarthy, died s.p.
This Art lived a roving life,
partly in Tyrone, Wicklow, and Cork, and kept large deer-hounds; died in co.
Cork, 1732, and was bur. in St. Helen's, Moviddy, whence his remains were taken
to Ardstraw, by his son:
130. Nial: hereditary Prince
of Ulster; born 1711; married Ellen, daughter of Donal Fitzpatrick (of Ossory),
by his wife, Una Mac Namara, and by her had issue: I. Richard (or Roderic); II.
William, who married Ellen Toler, and by her had a daughter named Nora, who
married Cormac Mac Carthy, the hereditary Earl of Clan Carthy; and a son, Henry
(died 1843), who married Lina Seton, of Bucks, and by her had two sons and one
daughter; this Henry, on the death of his uncle Roderic (or Richard), was duly
elected "The O'Neill," by representatives of the old clans. His two sons were
Conn and Aodh; the daughter was Delia, who married Henry Seton, and is now
(1887) in some part of France, and has issue; the son, Conn, died an infant; and
Aodh, on the eve of 1st of Nov., 1847, was made Prince of Ulster, he died unm.,
in 1859. Soon after some of the Irish in Paris and New York proceeded to elect
his successor; and we learn that Mac Carthy Mór and James Talbot took Richard,
who is No. 134 on this Stem, to London, where he was acknowledged as the future
Representative of his Race; and we learn that on May Eve, 1862, in the ruined
fort of Aileach, the white wand was put into his hand by Daniel O'Connor, of
Manch, and the old Pagan ceremonies were performed, as they were some hundreds
of years before, when the chieftains elected "O'Neill." The other children of
this Niall were: III. Kate, died unm; IV. Mary, who married Phelim O'Neill, and
had a daughter, Ada, who married a Mac Loughlin, whose daughter Eva, married
Donogh Mac Carthy of Cork; V. Rose, who married Dermod, hereditary lord of
Muscry, and Earl of Clancarthy.
This Nial lived in the western
part of the county, and in the City of Cork; lived an extravagant life; took a
leading part, under various disguises, in political events; sold out to his
trustees the remains of the tribe lands in Ulster. The penal laws being in
force, his possessions in the South of Ireland were held in trust for him by
Protestant friends, many of whom eventually ignored his right, and, taking
advantage of the Law, excluded him and his heirs from the head rents. Then he
engaged in manufacturing pursuits, by means of the remnant of his property,
which proved abortive; finally, he died in 1772, and was buried in Moviddy. In
1780, his remains were removed by his son to Ulster.
131. Richard (or Roderick):
his son; hereditary Prince of Ulster; born in Kilmichael, co. Cork, in 1743;
married Margaret, daughter of Donal Mac Carthy Reagh, by his wife Kate
O'Driscoll and had issue: I. Robert; II. Rachel, who married John O'Sullivan Mór
(Prince of Dunkerron), a native of Berehaven, and by him had issue: Richard,
Donogh, and Nora; III. Mary, married to Philip Ryder, has (in 1887) no issue;
IV. Alice, married Richard Good, and had issue: 1. Anne (dieds.p.); 2. Mary,
married John Forde, of Bandon, and has one daughter Jane; 3. Jane, married Simon
Long; issue: James, Daniel, and Elizabeth; 4. Richard, who married Anne Good,
both died s.p.; and V. Bessy, died s.p.
This Richard was duly elected
"The O'Neill," on May Eve, 1766, and was inaugurated in the old Rath of
Tullaghoge, west of Lough Neagh, in Tyrone, by the O'Hagan, who was then reduced
to indigence. This Richard (or Roderic) lost the remainder of the "head rents"
of those lands in co. Cork, which were granted to Henry (No. 128); he removed to
East Carbery, where he died, in 1817, and was buried in Moviddy. He was, during
the most part of his life, unostentatiously the rallying point of all the Celtic
princes and chieftains of Erinn, as his elected position indicated.
132. Robert: his son; married
Eleanor or Nelly, eldest daughter of Corlis O'Baldwin, of Lios-na-Cait, near
Bandon, county Cork. [This Corlis was eldest son of William, son of Robert, son
of John, Mayor of Cork, 1737, and descended from William of Lisarda, son of
Henry, who is No. 7 on the "Baldwin" pedigree.] Issue: I. Richard, who married
Mary O'Nolan, and had by her - Robert, Henry, Eleana, Richard, and Una: Henry
died in Ireland; the others with their parents, emigrated to North America, from
1847 to 1854, and all of whom are now (1887) dead. II. Robert, whose lineage is
here traced. III. William. IV. John. V. Thomas: - these last three also
emigrated to New Jersey, and thence to Kentucky, where they resided, unm., in
1880. VI. Francis, an officer in the United States Army, killed many years ago
by American Indians. VII. Margaret, died unm. in Ireland. VIII. Mary, married to
- Linzey, an officer in the Anglo-Indian Army, died some years ago, s.p.
This Robert, in 1847, died at
Mount Pleasant, and was buried at St. Helen's, Moviddy, co. Cork.
133. Robert: second son of
Robert; born 1816; married Jane Anne, daughter of Richard Wall, of Ardnaclog
(Bellmount), parish of Moviddy, county Cork, by his wife Jane "Welply," or more
correctly, Jane Mac Carthy, daughter of William Mac Carthy Mór, alias "Welply,"
of Clodagh Castle. Issue: three sons and two daughters: I. William, who died in
infancy. II. Richard-Walter. III. Marmaduke, an officer in the English Army -
the "Connaught Rangers," Renmore Barracks, Galway (living in 1887), born at
Lios-na-Cait, 4th June, 1845; married, and has issue two sons, and four
daughters. IV. Jane Anne, born at Lios-na-Cait, 13th June, 1848, married William
Farrow, son of William Farrow by his wife Jane Mitchel, both natives of Ipswich,
in Suffolk, England; this Jane Anne with her husband reside at 2 Albert Villas,
King-street, New Brompton, Kent, England, and has no issue. V.
Elizabeth-Lavinia, born at Ardna-clog (Bellmount), Muscry, 6th September, 1852,
and resides (1887) at the Connecticut Training School, State Hospital, New
Haven, Connecticut, U. S. America; unmarried.
This Robert died in New Jersey
134. Richard W. O'Neill (alias
"Payne"): his son; born at Lios-na-Cait, 13th Sept., 1842; living at St.
Martin's, Farranavane, Bandon, county Cork, in 1887; and acts as Principal
Teacher of Mount Pleasant National School. This Richard, known over most part of
Ireland as "The O'Neill," was married, in June, 1864, to Mary, only daughter of
John Harris, of Moss Grove, by his wife Eliza O'Connor, in the Catholic Church
of Murrogh, by the Reverend John Lyons, C.C. (later P.P. of Kilmichael, co.
Cork) and has had issue:
I. John Canice, born at Moss
Grove, 12th January, 1867.
II. Luaghaidh (Lewy)-Thomas,
born 7th June, 1870.
III. Jane-Anna-Maria, born 2nd
IV. Aodh twins, born 9th Aug.,
V. Caroline Aodh died at the
age of ten months.
VI. Rose-Adelaide, born 28th
135. John: son of Richard (2);
living in St. Martin's, Farranavane, Bandon, in 1887.
The line of O
Neill, Clanaboy continues from the first pedigree as follows
112. Hugh (6) Dubh O'Neill
(died 1230): son of Hugh an Macaomh Teinleasg; surnamed "dubh," because he was
dark-featured; was 12th in descent from Niall Glundubh, the 170th Monarch of
Ireland; was Sovereign Prince of Tyrone, and King of Ulster, A.D. 1186. He
defeated the English at Dungannon, in 1199; and in 1210 visited King John at
Carrickfergus, but made no submission to him. Hugh Dubh married and was
succeeded by his son:
113. Donal (4) surnamed Oge
(or the young); slain A.D. 1234.
114. Hugh (7), surnamed
"Buidhe" (or yellow), in Irish "Aodh Buidhe;" son of Donal Oge; was Prince of
Tirowen from A.D. 1260 to 1283, when he died. From him is derived the name
"Clanaboy" which in Irish was Clan Aodh Buidhe, meaning the "Clan of Yellow
Hugh;" by which designation the territories which said Hugh then brought under
his dominion have been known to this day. The House of Clanaboy maintained its
sovereign rights down to the time of James I., of England; and such was its
power in the time of Henry VIII., that (according to Cox, quoted by
MacGeoghagan,) its representatives recovered from the English not only the
territories called the "Clanaboys" and the "Ards," but also a tributary tax from
"the British authorities of the Pale."
The Annals of the Four Masters
record this Prince's death in the following terms:
"Hugh O'Neill, the fair Prince
of Tyrone, the head of the generosity and valour of the Irish, the most
distinguished man in the North for gifts and for wealth, the most dreaded and
victorious of his House, and a worthy Heir to the Throne of Ireland, was killed
by Bernard MacMahon."...
Hugh (6) Buidhe O'Neill was
succeeded by his eldest son:
115. Brian (1), or Bernard,
Sovereign Prince of Tyrone and of Clanaboy, A.D. 1291, who was slain in 1295,
and was succeeded by his son:
116. Henry (1), Sovereign
Prince of Clanaboy, who was succeeded by his son:
117. Muriertach or Murtagh
(7), anglicé Maurice, who was surnamed Ceannfada (meaning "long-headed" or
prudent). He was Sovereign Prince of Clanaboy; lord of the baronies of
Castlereagh, and Lower Ards, in the county Down; of the baronies of Tuam (now
"Toome"), Antrim, Belfast, and Massarene; of the towns of Carrickfergus,
Belfast, and Lisnegarry; and of the barony of Loghlinslin, in the county Derry.
He died A.D. 1395, and was succeeded by his son:
118. Brian (2), surnamed
Ballach (or "freckled"). He was Sovereign of Clanaboy, and lord of the lordships
over which his father had held sway. Having obtained several victories over the
English and the O'Neill of Tyrone, this Brian was slain in 1425, under which
date his death is recorded by the Four Masters, thus:
"Brian Ballach, the most
distinguished man of his time for hospitality, goodness, and learning, and the
knowledge of many sciences, was killed by the people of Carrick."
It was this Brian who imposed
an eric on the English of Carrickfergus, Carlingford, etc., called "Brian
Balla's eric," which was paid until it was by Act of Parliament, discontinued in
the reign of Henry VIII., and by Proclamation in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
He was succeeded by his son:
119. Hugh (8) Buidhe,
Sovereign Prince of Clanaboy, whose name is honourably mentioned by the Four
Masters. Had three brothers - 1. Murtagh Ruadh, 2. Henry Caoch, 3. Niall Galdha.
This Hugh occupied an important position in the wars of his time; and was slain
in 1444. He was married to Finola, daughter of Charles O'Connor, lord of
Offaley; she died a Nun in the Convent of Killeigh, in 1493. He was succeeded by
his eldest son:
120. Conn (1) or Constantine,
of Edendubh-carrig, Sovereign Prince of Clanaboy. Edendubhcarrig means "the brow
of the dark rock," and was the name of the castle and domains where this Prince
usually resided on the borders of Lough Neagh. In more modern times, as will be
seen hereafter, this name was changed for that of Shane's Castle, when the
estates passed under British influence to a junior branch of the family. This
Conn is styled by the Four Masters:
"Worthy heir to the throne of
Ulster," and his death is by them recorded under A.D. 1482.
121. Niall (5), surnamed Mór
(or the Great): son of Conn; married Innedubh, daughter of O'Donel Roe. This
Niall was celebrated for his valour and religion; the Annals of the Four Masters
affirm that in 1497 the Convent of Carrickfergus was founded by him, by
permission of the Holy See, for the benefit of the monks De Minor. de
Observantia. The same Annals also mention him as the proprietor of the Castle of
Edendubhcarrig, as well as the Castle of Carrickfergus. He died on the 11th of
April, 1512, and, according to the Four Masters, "was a pious and learned
Prince, able in the sciences of history, poetry, and music." He had four sons
whose names appear in history in the following order: 1. Hugh, whose descent is
extinct, and who died Sovereign Prince of Clanaboy in 1524; 2. Brian Ballagh, of
whom presently; 3. Niall Oge, who died Sovereign Prince in 1537, and whose
posterity ended with the late Miss O'Neill of Banville; 4. Phelim Baccagh, who
never became Sovereign Prince of Clanaboy, but whose son Brian (known as Brian
MacPhelim O'Neill) was renowned as such. This Phelim Baccagh, fourth son of
Niall Mór, was the ancestor of the Lords O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, to whose
branch of the family the estates of Edendubhcarrig devolved under British
influence. Brian MacPhelim's son, Shane, changed the name of Edendubhcarrig to
"Shane's Castle," after his own name, and was chosen by the English Government
for "Captain of Clanaboy," on the grounds that "he was a modest man that
speaketh English;" which shows that it was no particular right on Shane's part,
but merely his friendly disposition towards the English, that was the cause of
their preference in his favour. Shane's son Henry conformed to the Protestant
religion; was knighted, and got a patent from King James I., of the estates of
"Shane's Castle;" and thus the old family domains of Edendubhcarrig passed to
the posterity of the fourth son of Niall Mór, to the prejudice of the senior
branch of the family who clung to the Catholic Faith.
122. Brian (3) Ballagh: second
son of Niall Mór; was, according to the Four Masters, slain in 1529, by
MacQuillan, "who went out of Carrickfergus in company and friendship with him."
According to a letter from Captain Piers, serving in Ireland, to Secretary
Walshingham, and dated 12th June, 1580, in the Second Volume of State Papers for
Ireland (apud, A.D. 1580), this Prince for some time enjoyed the sovereignty of
Clanaboy. That letter contains the following paragraph:
"O'Neill (Tyrone) was encamped
before the town of Carrickfergus and the colour (or pretext) of his coming was
to demand certain buying for one Brian Ballagh O'Neill, sometime Lord of
Clanaboy, a kinsman of his, who was killed by the townsmen of Carrickfergus
about sixty years past; and the buying forgiven by Sir Bryan McPhelim, in his
life-time, and now, as it seemeth, newly revived by O'Neill."
That extract from the letter
of Captain Piers shows that Brian MacPhelim O'Neill, representative of the
junior branch of the Clanaboy family, courted British protection, and hastened
to ignore the buying, and throw into oblivion the traditions of his senior
kinsman. Brian (3) Ballagh O'Neill married, first, daughter of O'Neill, Prince
of Tyrone; and, secondly, Sibile, daughter of Maguire of Fermanagh. His son by
the first marriage was his successor:
123. Murtagh (8), Hereditary
Prince of Clanaboy. A Memoir on the State of Ireland by Lord Chancellor Cusack,
in 1552, states of this Murtagh: "In Clanaboy is one Murtagh Dulenach, one of
the O'Neills, who hath the name as Captain of Clanaboy, but he is not able to
maintain the same; he hath eight tall gentlemen to his sons and (yet) they
cannot make past twenty-four horsemen. There is another sept in that country of
Felim Baccagh's sons, tall men, which taketh part with Hugh McNeill Oge, till
now of late." This again shows that, despite his efforts, Murtagh's power was
fast declining, under the unceasing persecution of his junior kinsmen, the sons
of Niall Oge and of Felim Baccagh, who, as we have already shown, enjoyed
British preference and support. Murtagh, like his father, was a strenuous Roman
Catholic, and, evidently, this circumstance did not contribute to make them
favourites of the English. He married, Margaret, daughter of O'Byrne, of
Wicklow, and had:
124. Daniel (5), who had:
125. Constantine (2), whose
son and successor was:
126. Felix (1), who married a
daughter of O'Neill of Kilultagh. He distinguished himself as Colonel under the
celebrated Owen Roe O'Neill, in 1649; and was succeeded by his son:
127. Ever (1), who joined the
National movements of the time; and married Catherine, daughter of Ever O'Neill,
of Killitragh, ancestor of O'Neill, of Austria, Counts of the Holy Roman Empire,
etc. He had a son:
128. Felix (2), who was an
officer in Lord Galmoy's regiment for James II. He was deprived of the remnant
of his family estates, under the persecution generally suffered by Roman
Catholics in those Penal days in Ireland; and, after the surrender of Limerick,
he followed King James II. to the Continent, and died on the field of battle of
Malplaquet, on the 13th September, 1709, as an officer of the Irish Brigade. He
was twice married: first, to Catherine Keating; and, secondly, to a daughter of
O'Dempsey, Viscount Clanmaliere; he left only one son by his first marriage,
129. Constantine (3), the said
son of Felix (2); was a Citizen of Dublin, who married Cecilia, daughter of
Felix O'Hanlon, a Capt. of Infantry in the Army of James II., who was the son of
Colonel Edmond O'Hanlon. Constantine had three sons and seven daughters; the
eldest son was:
130. John, who settled in
Portugal, and purchased an estate on the left bank of the river Tagus, near
Almada, in front of Lisbon. He is mentioned by the Italian traveller G.
Barretti, in his Letterre Famigliari. In 1750 he married Valentina, daughter of
Jose Ferreira, a landed proprietor in the environs of Lisbon, from whose family
descended maternally the families of Palyart, Clamanse, and of the French
general De Negrier. This John had several sons and daughters; amongst the latter
- Cecilia and Anna who both took the veil, and became successively Prioresses of
the Convent of Irish Sisters of Bone Successo, near Lisbon, where they died and
lie buried. Two of the sons died without issue; and he was succeeded in the
seniority of the name by his youngest son:
131. Charles, who was educated
at the College of St. Omer, in France. He married in 1784 Anna-John, daughter of
Jacob Torlade (Consul of the Hanseatic Cities at St. Ubes), son of Henry
Torlade, a Judge and Banker in Hamburg in 1713, whose Coat of Arms is described
under that date in the City Registers. Charles O'Neill possessed extensive
landed property at St. Ubes and Lisbon; and received at his house at St. Ubes
the visit of the King of Portugal, John VI. and his daus. the Infantas. He was a
Knight of the Order of Christ. He left three sons -
and several daus., all of whom
left issue; the eldest son being also represented in the male line by the now
(1887) existing members of the family.
The line of O Neill of Shane's
Castle, County Antrim, continues from No. 121 on the O'Neill, Princes of
122. Phelim Baccach: son of
Niall Mór; died 1533; some of whose male descendants are the O'Neills of
Ballymoney. Had two sons - 1. Hugh, 2. Brian.
123. Brian: his second son;
124. John: his son; had a
brother named Conn; was twice married - the only issue by the first marriage was
Sir Henry O'Neill; this John died 23rd April, 1617.
125. Sir Henry: his son; had a
daughter named Rose, who was his only heir, and who married Randal MacDonnell,
Earl of Antrim (a quo "Randalstown"), but left no issue. This Sir Henry O'Neill,
whose Will is dated the 13th September, 1637, had four brothers - 1. Arthur, of
Shane's Castle, who was the heir of his brother Henry, in the event of his
daughter Rose (Marchioness of Antrim) having no issue; 2. Phelim; 3. Shane Oge,
who died without issue, A.D. 1620; and 4. Hugh, who also died, sine prob. Arthur
O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, here mentioned, had two sons - 1. Charles (no issue
recorded); 2. Captain John O'Neill. This Captain John O'Neill had two sons - 1.
Arthur, who died unmarried, in Flanders, in 1702; and 2. Colonel Charles
O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, who died without issue. After this Col. Charles
O'Neill's death, Henry O'Neill administered on 10th Sept., 1716, but died s.p.
The estates then reverted to "Shane an Franca" (or "French John"), son of Brian,
son of Phelim, the second brother of Sir Henry O'Neill, No. 125 on this
126. Brian: son of the said
Phelim, the second brother of the said Sir Henry O'Neill; had a brother named
127. Shane an Franca (or
"French John"): son of Brian; Will proved 1739; had two brothers - 1. Henry, and
128. Henry O'Neill: the eldest
son of Shane an Franca; had a daughter Mary, who was his only heir. This Henry
had two brothers - 1. Charles, who, after Henry's death, took possession of
Shane's Castle; 2. Clotworthy, who left no issue. The said Charles died in
August, 1769, leaving two sons - 1. The Right Hon. John O'Neill, who, on the
25th October, 1793, was created "Baron," and in 1795, "Viscount, O'Neill;" 2.
St. John O'Neill. This John Viscount O'Neill left two sons - 1. Charles Henry
St. John, Viscount (in August, 1800, created "Earl") O'Neill, and 2. John Bruce
Richard, Viscount O'Neill - each of whom died without issue. St. John O'Neill,
the younger brother of the Right Hon. John, the first "Viscount O'Neill," here
mentioned, died in March, 1790, leaving an only child, Mary O'Neill, of whom no
issue is recorded.
129. Mary: daughter and only
heir of Henry O'Neill (No. 128 on this stem), the eldest son of Shane an Franca;
married to the Rev. Arthur Chichester.
130. Rev. Wm. Chichester,
known as "Doctor Chichester:" their son. This William had two sons - 1. Sir
Arthur Chichester, to whom the Clanaboy Estates were willed, and who died unm.;
2. Rev. Edward Chichester.
131. Rev. Edward: second son
of the Rev. William Chichester. This Edward had four sons - 1. Rev. William; 2.
Rev. Robert, who died in June, 1878; 3. Arthur, who died young, in 1830; 4. Rev.
George Vaughan Chichester.
132. Rev. William Chichester,
of Shane's Castle: eldest son of the Rev. Edward Chichester; created "Baron
O'Neill" (United Kingdom, 1868); died 18th April, 1883. This Rev. William, Lord
O'Neill, had three sons - 1. Edward Baron O'Neill; 2. The Hon. Arthur O'Neill,
who died unm., in 1870; 3. The Hon. Robert Torrens O'Neill, M.P. for Mid Antrim;
and one daughter, The Hon. Anne O'Neill.
133. Edward Baron O'Neill;
eldest son of the Rev. William Baron O'Neill; living in 1887. Has had three sons
and three daughters, viz.,
I. The Hon. William T.
Cochrane, who died in 1882.
II. The Hon.
Arthur-Edward Bruce O'Neill.
III. The Hon.
Line of O Neill of Of Tromag,
Parish of Termonmagurk, County Tyrone starting with Conn who is number 123 on
the first line
123. Conn, Hereditary Prince
of Ulster: eldest son of Shane an Diomuis; died in 1598. He mar. Nuala
O'Donnell, and had
I. Art Oge, his
successor; born 1565, died 1622.
II. Cu-Uladh (b. 1566),
married and had issue.
III. Mór, became a Nun.
IV. Eoghan (or Owen),
of whom presently.
V. Brian (born 1570),
some of whose descendants settled in the county Cork.
124. Eoghan: fourth son of
Conn; died 1649: married Elena O'Donnell, and had issue:
I. Henry, of whom
II. Art, who married
and had issue.
III. Una, who married
and had issue.
IV. Maedhbh (or Maude),
125. Henry, of Carbery, co.
Cork: eldest son of Eoghan; born 1593; died 1668; mar. Una O'Dogherty, and had
I. Art, of whom
II. Ruadhri or Rodger,
who married and had issue.
IV. Maedhbh, who mar.
and had issue.
V. Conn, who married
and had issue.
VI. Thomas, died s. p.
VII. and VIII. died in
126. Art: son of Henry; born
1629, died 1704; was living in the county Cork. This Art, with his family,
returned to Tyrone in 1646, and settled near Carrigmore at a place called
Tromag, some seven miles from Dungannon. He married and had:
I. Ruadhri (Rodger or
Roger), of whom presently; whose family remained at Tromag.
II. Sadhbh (or Sibby),
who mar. and had issue.
III. Felim, who married
and had issue.
IV. Shane, who married
and had issue.
V. and VI. a son and a
daughter, names unknown.
127. Ruadhri (or Rodger):
eldest son of Art; died 1737; married Grania O'Neill, and had issue:
I. Paul, of whom
128. Paul: eldest son of
Ruadhri; born circa 1693; mar. Hannah Mac-Cawell (or Campbell) of Longfield,
county Tyrone, and had:
I. Terence. These three
remained at Tromag.
IV. Art, who removed to
Aughnagar, parish of Killashil, co. Tyrone.
129. Terence: eldest son of
Paul; married Hannah MacGurk of Copney, parish of Termonmagurk, and had:
130. Peter: eldest son of
Terence; born 1754; died Feb., 1859; was in his day the most influential man in
his locality; mar. Mary, daughter of Art MacGurk of Sluggan, and had:
I. Terence, who died in
IV. Patrick; and three
daughters, who died young.
Peter and Patrick, living in
131. Bernard: son of Peter;
born 1803; died 1879; married Jane, daughter of Terence O'Donnelly, of
Innishative (by Isabella, his wife, who was daughter of Andrew O'Donnelly of
Rash, near Omagh, agent to Lord Mountjoy, and member of the Grand Jury in
Omagh), and had:
I. Peter, who emigrated
II. Terence, of whom
III. Patrick, who
occupies a distinguished position in Philadelphia, U.S.A.
132. Terence O'Neill: son of
Bernard; the present representative, in Ireland, of this branch of the "O'Neill"
family; was born 1st Dec., 1839; married 30th Dec., 1873, to Margaret, fourth
daughter of Michael MacGarrity, of Sluggan, and has:
I. Jane, born 24th
II. Patrick, born 9th
This Terence, who was intended
for the Church, received his education in a neighbouring classical school;
subsequently at St. Patrick's College, Armagh, which, owing to ill-health, he
was obliged to leave; and is now (1888) living as a very successful Classical
Teacher at Tromag, near Carrickmore, county Tyrone.
133. Patrick: his son; living
at Tromag, in 1888.
Author : Edward P. O'Neill, MS
Copyright © 2003 by Shatoewe SlowWalker. All rights reserved.
01/20/10 16:45:54 -0800.