July 2013

History Selection

Relief of Derry July 1689
Relief of Derry
 July 1689
Battle of the Boyne July 1690
Battle of the Boyne
July 1690
Robert Emmet Rising July 1803
Robert Emmet Rising July 1803
Truce in War of Independence July 1921
Truce with British
July 1921
Bloody Friday July 1972
Bloody Friday
July 1972
IRA announce end of conflict July 2005
IRA announce end of conflict July 2005

Ireland in 1950
January 18th: Institute of Chemistry founded.

February 23rd: Elections took place in Northern Ireland.
Garda car 1950s
Wreckage of the plane at Llandow

Wreckage of the AVRO Tudor airliner
March 12th: 80 people died in the Llandow air disaster when a plane carrying Welsh rugby fans home from Belfast crashed in South Wales.

March: The Irish Press came to the end of a series of articles called 'Any Jobs Going', aimed at giving advice to teenagers about entering the workforce.

April: Northern Irish premier travelled to the US for speaking engagements in Washington, DC and New York. The New York Irish turned out to picket him  under the auspices of the American-Irish Minute Men of 1949. New York’s mayor, William O’Dwyer, a native of County Mayo, said he would not welcome Brooke to City  Hall and, to make sure of it, went to Florida for vacation that week.
May 12th: Nationalist Senators and MPs in Northern Ireland asked the government of the Republic to give Northern-elected representatives in the Dail and Seanad.

May 26th: End of petrol rationing in Northern Ireland.

June 25th: Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, writer, drowned while swimming off Co. Galway. His book Fiche Bliain ag Fás had described his early life on the Great Blasket.
Ruins of Muiris O' Suilleabhain's house
Ruins of Muiris Ó Súilleabháin's house
Frederick Boland
Frederick Boland
July:  Sir Gilbert Laithwaite, hitherto British Representative, Republic of Ireland became the first British Ambassador to Ireland. Frederick Boland was the first Irish ambassador to the United Kingdom.

11 August: At a meeting of the European Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg Irish representatives voted against Winston Churchill's plan for a European Army.
September 15th: Dublin born Sara Allgood, who went on to become a Hollywood character actress, died in California.

October 11th: The Royal National Institute for the Blind opened a branch in Belfast.
Actress Sara Allgood

Sara Allgood
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
November 2nd: George Bernard Shaw died.

December 20th: The Industrial Development Authority was founded in the Republic.

December 23rd:  A bank strike that will last eight weeks began on this date.

December 25th: Snow fell on Christmas day in Dublin.

Trinity College in the 18th Century

Front of Trinity College

The front of Trinity College in Dublin

Trinity College library - the long room

Trinity College library - the long room
Book Review

Early Celtic Christianity

Author:     Brendan Lehane

Publisher:    Continuum Books (2005)

Date published:  Original version 1968

Early Celtic Christianity

Ireland received and interpreted Christianity in its own way, becoming a beacon for the religion in a Europe trapped in the chaos of the Dark Ages. In this elegantly written book, Lehane describes the lives of three important Irish saints: Brendan and his miraculous voyage, Columba of Lindasfarne and Columbanus, who travelled across Europe. Each man comes alive in the telling, from the miracles attributed to him to the petty, even unflattering details of his life. The Irish church exercised influence in the conversions it made, the monasteries it founded and the ancient text books it copied, both Christian and pagan. Yet ultimately it found itself in confrontation with the more widespread Roman model of Christianity, and a debate held at Whitby would decide the future of Christianity in Ireland.

A History Of Ireland

Last Efforts of the English Lordship, 1366 - 1399

Edmund Curtis

Methuen & Co. Ltd London, 1936

Art Mor Mac Muchadha Caomhanach

Art Mór mac Art Mac Murchadha Caomhánach

Royal visits, such as those of Lionel, covering a number of years, would doubtless have preserved a large part of Ireland to the English Crown. But not for many years again was a royal prince to be seen in Ireland and after the departure of Clarence the native chiefs continued their reconquests. The Englishry were pushed back in many a point along the border, and among the states founded by the warrior chiefs we may note two in Ulster and one in Desmond. In the latter there were already the two MacCarthy chiefs, MacCarthy More and MacCarthy Reagh of Carbery; now there arose a Derot MacCarthy whom Lionel had for a time checked, but who by his death in 1368 had created by the strong hand a third lordship for this race, that of Muskerry in west Cork. In Ulster the earldom was assailed by chiefs bent upon carving out new lordships, and among these Cumhaide O'Cathain, called in English tradition 'Cooey na Gall' ('of the Foreigners', because he spent his youth among the English and learned their use of armour and tactics), founded a lordship in the present county of Derry, called Iraght O'Cahan.

A still greater state was that of the O'Neills of Clandeboy, a race descended from the Aedh Buidhe who was king of Tir Eoghain in 1280. Because the Earl of Ulster had favoured him, his children were allowed to expand at the expense of older native chiefs on the east side of the Bann, while Donal O'Neill, son of Brian, continued the line of 'The Great O'Neill of Tyrone'. In the course of a century from about 1350 the O'Neills of Clandeboy founded a Gaelic state which stretched from the Glens of Antrim to Belfast and the north part of Down. They conquered not only the colonial land but also wiped out the MacDunlevys and O'Flynns, who had formerly ruled in Ulidia.
Ireland in 1300

Ireland in 1300

Meanwhile the Dublin government could command little more than Leinster and the towns. On the borders it left the feudal lords and 'the chieftains of lineage' to cope with the Irish as best they could, and in order to do so these earls and barons hired kerns and 'bonnaughts' (Irish mercenaries). Already in 1314 Edmund Butler had 'put Dermot son of Turloch O'Brien and his kerns at coign on the English farmers of his country'. 'Coign' was the billeting of troops on one's tenants according to old Irish law, but it was hateful to the feudal class and caused the exodus of many of the lesser Englishry from Ireland.

The three Earls of Kildare, Desmond, and Ormond were now the leaders of the 'English by blood'. Of the three, Gerald, third earl of Desmond (1359 – 1398), ruled four counties in the south, while James Butler, second earl of Desmond 1350 – 1382), by royal grants had the Palatine lordship of Tipperary and the prisage of wines throughout Ireland. The Desmond Geraldines were before long to turn Irish, but the Butlers remained loyal to the English connexion, and this was due to a royal marriage. The first Earl of Ormond, James, married Eleanor Bohun, a granddaughter of Edward I; their son, called the 'noble earl' as a kinsman of the King, inherited rich lands in England.

It was the 'land of peace' which continued to occupy the main attention of the English Crown. In 1368 at a council in Guildford the King stated that he had heard from the faithful subjects of Ireland 'how that the Irish ride in hostile array through every part of the said land so that it is a point to be lost if remedy be not immediately supplied'. He therefore had summoned a parliament to Dublin in May 1367, which advised that the only salvation was in the continuous residence of the Earls and others who have inheritance in Ireland. The King therefore now by the advice of his English peers and council ordained that those in England who have lands in Ireland should return to reside or supply men for the defence of the same before next Easter, or in default be deprived of those lands. This was the first Absentee act; there was to be a still more severe one in 1380.

The French war was now proving a failure and England had little money or men to spare for Ireland, but among the transient viceroys a strong man was found in Sir William de Windsor (1369 – 1376), who came in June 1369 with the title of Lieutenant. In the first year of his office a great triumph for the Irish took place in Munster. Brian O'Brien, king of Thomond, crossed the Shannon and at Monasteraneany defeated his enemy, the Earl of Desmond, and took him prisoner on July 10th 1370. He then occupied and looted Limerick and the Earl was only ransomed after a tedious captivity by the lieutenant. O'Brien and the Irish of Munster, Connacht, and Leinster were now, it was said 'confederated to make a universal conquest of Ireland'. To cope with such a rising, Windsor attempted to wring money out of the colony, and in 1371, besides getting local grants, he forced on parliament at Kilkenny into granting three thousand pound and another at Baldoyle two thousand pounds. This was more than the Anglo-Irish could pay in one year and on their protest the aged King recalled him but soon sent him back to raise the needed supplies. In 1375 Edward directed the Irish parliament to send sixty representatives to appear before the English Council with their complaints in February 1376, namely, two from each county to represent the nobles and commons, two from each town, and two clerics from each diocese. Although they sent their delegates the united Parliament declared that 'according to the rights and liberties enjoyed from the time of the Conquest and before, they were not bound to send such representatives, and though they now elected them they reserved the right of assenting to any subsidies made in their name; moreover, their present compliance was not hereafter to be taken in prejudice of the rights laws and customs which they had enjoyed from the time of the Conquest and before'.

Nothing came of the visit of the Irish deputies to England, save the council superseded Windsor and made Ormond justiciar in July 1376. They attempted to impeach Windsor and their complaints were heard in the Good Parliament of April-July 1376. In this famous parliament the process of Impeachment originated, and possibly the Irish complaints aided it; in fact, however, as long as it lasted the Irish parliament was never able to impeach ministers of state, who were responsible only to the Crown in England. But from this time the Irish parliament took a final shape, which lasted till 1537. It was now established that for taxation by agreement with towns, estates, and counties ceased. In the parliament or council of 1372 two clerical proctors from each diocese were added to the commons. The obligation of lay magnates to attend parliament became a matter of tenure-in-chief of the Crown and the writs of individual summons were restricted to the earls, barons and prelates.

After the departure of Windsor the Irish in their various combinations attacked the colony on every side. Of all the losses since that of Ulster the worst was that of the once English 'Land of Leinster'. It might almost be said that had geography made this province a land as level as Meath England's first conquest of Ireland would never have been a failure. Though Norman towns and manors encircled Leinster, the whole wild inland country, which was the nominal demesne of the King and Archbishop, in reality remained in the hands of the O'Brynes and O'Tooles. By 1400 the whole lovely eastern coast from Bray to Arklow was a solitary stretch where scarcely an English ship appeared, where there was scarcely a colonist and where only the royal castles of Wicklow and Newcastle kept a precarious hold. The O'Brynes became lords not only of the mountains but of the coast from Bray to Arklow and so inland to Shillelagh. And Glenmalure, the wildest and most impenetrable defile in Wicklow, was their final stronghold.

The natural leader of the Leinster Irish was MacMurrough Kavanagh, the descendant of Donal Kavanagh. For over a century his race, left in possession of part of Hy Kinsella, and favoured by the Bigod descendants of Strongbow, remained fairly peaceable, but on the extinction of the Bigods in 1306 they reasserted their old kingdom of Leinster. Carlow was renewed as a fief to Thomas of Brotherton, younger son of Edward I, but on the passing of this feudal state to an absentee English prince the MacMurroughs seized the opportunity to assert their ancient kingship, and in 1327 the Irish of Leinster had met and chosen as king over them Donal son of Art MacMurrough. From this time until the days of Henry VIII MacMurrough Kavanagh styled himself 'Rex Lagenie'.

Absenteeism and the extinction of Anglo-Norman families favoured the Irish recovery. The two baronies of Idrone and Forth O'Nolan, formerly the heritage of Raymond le Gros in Carlow, fell into MacMurrough hands when the Carews, barons of Idrone, expired about 1370. So did the Kavanaghs build up the old Hy Kinsella again,rich and level country backed by the inaccessible range of Mount Leinster and by great woods from which no Norman force could hope to dislodge them. The Dublin government realized so pressing a danger, and Duke Lionel made war on the Leinster Irish and captured Art More, son of the Donal of 1327, who ended his days in Dublin Castle. But his elder son Donal took his place and in 1372 had to be bought off with a fee of eighty marks from the Exchequer, which became an annuity regularly paid to the MacMurroughs up to the year 1536.


In Art Oge appeared the greatest of Donal's descendants and of the medieval chiefs of Ireland the one who most ruined the English colony. Inaugurated king of Leinster in 1376, Art took the field with colours flying, and, summoning all the hereditary vassals of the old kings of Leinster, the O'Mores, O'Connors, O'Byrnes, O'Dempseys, and the rest, ravaged the colonial lands until the terrified officials of the Exchequer renewed to him the grant made to his uncle.

And now the Anglo-Irish at last got a Prince of the Blood as viceroy. Edmund Mortimer, third earl of March, was husband of Philippa, daughter of Lionel of Clarence. In May 1380 he landed as the King's lieutenant with a considerable army, bent upon the recovery of his Irish estates, but after a long and gallant march as far northwards as Coleraine and then back to Dunamasa in Leix, where he made O'More swear vassalage again, and then down to Cork, he died suddenly in December 1381. Himself a young man, he left by Philippa an infant heir, Roger, a boy of eight, who in 1385 was declared heir to the throne after Richard.

Richard II succeeded to the throne of England in 1377, a boy of eleven, who as he grew to manhood proved himself of a sensitive and artistic temperament marred by weakness and indecision and ill-fitted to cope with the violent nobles who surrounded the throne. For Ireland Richard seems to have had a real solicitude and a desire to set things right. His lordship there was full of lapsed fiefs, and Ulster, Connacht, Westmeath, and a large part of Leinster might be reckoned as gone. Close to Dublin the Irish septs held the great mountain plateau and menaced Wexford, Carlow, and Kidlare. The absentee evil was a very great one, for by it English lands passed to the neighbouring Irish and Normans. An exodus had set in of the more English tenantry, while the further Englishry were becoming Irish in language, law, dress, and warlike pursuits. The more the colony dwindled in size and English order, the greater became the heads of the original families. The two Burkes dominated most of Connacht, the Kildare earldom spread from Kildare to meet in Carlow the power of the Butlers, with whom the lands of the Desmond earls marched at Clonmel and Kilfeakle. The Earls of Ormond had lost to the O'Kennedys upper Ormond, but in south Tipperary and in Kilkenny they formed a compact power which reached its height when in 1391 the Despenser heir of the Liberty of Kilkenny conveyed to James, third earl of Ormond, his manor and castle at Kilkenny with numerous rich lands and manors attached. This great territory with its centre in the noble castle that overlooks the Nore became under its Palatine lands an almost sovereign state and an 'English land' in speech and culture second only to the Pale itself.

The Irish chiefs were now all bent on building up their local lordships, and the dream of restoring the High kingship was abandoned. They did, however, admit the judicial, political, and military supremacy of the old province kings, and even as MacMurrough was admitted to be king by his 'urraghts' so were O'Neill and O'Connor. The Irish mind could well conceive of a De Burgo as 'Lord of the English of Connacht' and an O'Connor as 'king of the Gael in Connacht', existing side by side. For this later title there were now two claimants, Turloch Donn and Turloch Ruadh O'Connor; their feud was fatal to the old kingship, and though in 1385 they came to an understanding, the kingship was never united again.[1]

Imitating the Normans in war, castles, and heraldry, the Irish chiefs strove also to attain that primogeniture which gave the feudal class much of its stability. The 'derb-fine' rule for the succession to chieftainships lasted indeed till 1603 with the claims of the 'Rig-domnas', or royal heirs, but Tanistry was now general, by which in the lifetime of a chief a 'Tanist' or successor was appointed who would rule till the chief's son came of age. This narrowed down the succession, and it would seem that the Tanist's son rarely claimed to succeed his father after the interim. In one or two families such as MacCarthy and O'Neill of Tyrone and long-sustained and successful effort took place to secure the succession from father to son, but the claims of 'royal heirs' according to law were often asserted and led to long and destructive succession-wars.

The way for Richard's visit was prepared by a number of viceroys of whom the most gallant figure is James, third Earl of Ormond, a brave knight who spoke the native language fluently and was trusted by the Irish. The King's Irish advisers, such as John Colton, archbishop of Armagh, sent long and eloquent reports on the Irish situation. In these reports the name of Art MacMurrough often occurred and inspired Richard with the determination that in him was the chief 'Irish enemy'. Art with an army of his vassals had occupied most of the county Carlow and further in 1390 had married Elizabeth Calfe, heiress of the barony of Norragh in county Kildare. In her name he claimed his estate, but the law did not admit that a 'mere Irishman' could hold English land, and so he was denied possession. In his anger he committed dreadful ravages, with a great host burned the town of Naas, and wrought ruin among the Englishry of counties Kildare, Wexford and Carlow.

King Richard landed at Waterford on October 2nd 1394 with a large army, and all the royal power was for once exercised in Ireland by the monarch. The English parliament had granted large sums for the recovery of Ireland and Richard called upon the great absentees to accompany him.[2] Before his departure he restored the Honour of Carlow to Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham and Earl Marshal, who came with the King, as did also Roger Mortimer, heir to the throne, and earl of March and Ulster.

From Waterford Richard marched up the Barrow, admiring on his way the luxuriant beauty of Leinster, and sending his lieutenants inland to wage war on Art MacMurrough, who burned New Ross but fell back before the English on to his woodland fastness of Garbh-choill at the foot of Mount Leinster.

Marching by Kilkenny, Richard reached Dublin in November and spent the Christmas there in the castle. There the great plan for Ireland was evolved. In a letter to his uncle, Edmund of York, Regent of England, Richard divided Ireland into 'the wild Irish, our enemies; English rebels; and obedient English'. Of the English 'rebels' he wrote 'they have become disobedient through injustice practised upon them by our officers and if they are not won over they will join the Irish enemies'. As for the Irish, he had already written from England to O'Neill, as the greatest of the Irish, promising 'to do justice to every man'.

According to the plan which the Earl of Ormond, the archbishops of Armagh and Tuam and others suggested to the King, the Irish were to be induced into an honourable submission and recognised as vassals of the Crown, with the exception of Art MacMurrough. On the Irish side, it seems that O'Connor and other chiefs urged Niall More O'Neill to lead a general resistance to Richard, but Archbishop Colton induced the king of Tir Eoghain to submit, Ormond and Desmond induced MacCarthy, O'Brien, and the southern chiefs to do the same, and the result was the greatest homaging of native Ireland to an English king that took place between 1172 and 1540.

The royal policy had four distinct objects:

a) The Irish chiefs except MacMurrough and his Leinster vassals were to surrender the lands they had 'usurped' from the English and promised a double obedience in future to the King as liege-lord and to the Norman earls to whom they owed simple homage as their suzerains. In return they were to be confirmed in their 'Irish lands', namely, those territories which they had always held from the time of the Conquest.

b) The 'rebel English' were to be pardoned and restored to their due allegiance. Of these, however, only eight, from Munster and Connacht, appeared to claim their pardon.

c) A definitely 'English land' was to be created in eastern Ireland, east of a line drawn from Dundalk to the Boyne and down the Barrow to Waterford. In this English 'Pale' a new colony was to be planted and grants were to be made to new Englishmen.

Ireland in 1450

Ireland in 1450

d) In order to carry out the latter, the warlike Art MacMurrough and his vassals must be compelled to quit the lands of Leinster.

On January 20th 1395, at Drogheda, Niall More made his submission to Richard, and his example was followed by all the chiefs of the Gaelic race save O'Donnell, his vassals in Fermanagh and Sligo, and the barbarous chieftains of the Connacht seaboard. Between January and May 1395 the King, the Earl Marshal, Ormond and other magnates received at Dublin or other centres the homage and submission of eighty paramount chiefs, who sometimes appeared with their tanists. At Drogheda on March 16th Niall Oge O'Neill submitted to the King in the name of his father, 'prince of the Irish of Ulster', and also did simple homage to the Earl of Ulster. He promised to surrender all lands, lordships, and liberties unlawfully possessed by him or others under him, surrendering to the Earl the 'Bonnacht' or military service of the Irish of Ulster, and to come to parliaments and councils when summoned by the King, his heirs, or his deputies. He was followed by a whole body of his vassals, such as Magennis and MacMahon, who took the same terms; while John or Shane MacDonnell, who called himself 'constable of the Irish of Ulster', submitted separately.[3] From south Ulster and Meath came in O'Reilly of Brefni and other 'captains of their nations' and so further south the chiefs of northern Munster, O'Kennedy and others, who accepted Ormond as their overlord. On March 1st, at Dublin, Brian O'Brien, 'prince of the Irish of Thomond', did homage and was followed by a group of vassals in Clare. In like fashion did Turloch Donn O'Connor, 'prince of the Irish of Connacht', submit at Waterford for himself and a group of vassals covering a large part of that province; while at Kilkenny Taig MacCarthy More ('Major'), 'prince of the Irish at Desmond', submitted and accepted Desmond as his over-lord; along with him MacCarthy, lord of Muskerry, bowed the knee.[4]

The title 'Prince of the Irish of Ulster', etc., in the case of O'Neill, O'Connor, O'Brien, and MacCarthy attests the survival to this time of the old provincial kingships, at least in the mind of the native race. In one or two areas, such as Meath and north Munster, they had ceased to exist. But it is significant that after this solemn and general submission to their English lord the greater Irish chiefs dropped the title of 'king', and henceforth MacCarthy is MarCarthy More, instead of 'king of Desmond'. But MacMurrough Kavanagh continued on his seal and elsewhere to use 'Rex Lagenie' up to Henry VIII's reign, and the annals, which are very conservative, continue to use the name 'Ri' for the great princes.

For the Leinster rebels against whom Richard had sent his troops with fire and sword the terms were to be different. The Earl Marshal as Lord of Carlow dealt with Art MacMurrough, who by this time found himself abandoned in his resistance, and on January 7th 1395, at Tullow in Carlow, the king of Leinster pledged himself with all his vassals and fighting-men by the first Sunday of Lent to quit Leinster and go at the King's pay to conquer lands elsewhere occupied by rebels and enemies, which lands they should hold for ever of the King and his successors. Further, Art was granted the barony of Norragh and the annual fee of eighty marks for life. To these terms his 'urraghs', O'Byrne, O'Toole, O'Connor, and others, also bound themselves, and at Ballygory on February 16th Art and his under-chiefs did homage to the Earl Marshal.

In the midst of all this homaging, on March 25th Richard knighted four Irish kings in Dublin, and of this ceremony and their behaviour Froissairt gives a picturesque account. Charmed with so easy a surrender, Richard made several fine grants of lands in Leinster to his admiral, John de Beaumont, and others. By the end of April, however, Richard began to think of his return to England,to which the Lollard and other problems recalled him. Probably the King's facile imagination, which had been kindled with the idea of setting Ireland right, had now subsided. Though he had intended a parliament in Dublin, none such met to ratify the Irish submission or possibly to reverse the Statutes of Kilkenny. On May 1st, on board his ship at Waterford, Richard knighted William de Burgo of Clanrickard, Walter de Birmingham of Athenry, two 'English rebels' and Turloch O'Connor Don, and so on May 15th he departed with all his chivalry for England, thus repeating the mistake of Henry II and John in leaving Ireland before their work was completed. It was, however, regarded as a spectacular triumph for England.

The Irish chiefs had done their homage and taken their oaths in one language only, Irish, while the Norman 'rebels' took theirs in French or English. From what we read in Froissairt of their taciturn pride and democratic sense and from their letters to the King, we can gather the difficulty of making these patriarchal kings into liege vassals of the Crown and members of the English-speaking parliament of Dublin.

It is doubtful if the 'English land' was increased by a single acre as a result of these imposing submissions of 1395. They had been a triumph for the Gaelic chiefs, who were now admitted to be legal possessors of the land they had inherited, even if they must surrender lands 'usurped'. In return they had admitted the King as their sovereign, and in the case of MacCarthy, O'Kennedy and O'Neill, admitted the Earls of Desmond, Ormond, and Ulster as their immediate lords, so that no doubt could now exist that they had received a status in English law for their lands and chieftainships. Successfully completed on both sides, these treaties might have solved the great problem of the relation of the Irish princes to the English Crown. But in fact the bargains were not carried out, and O'Neill and the rest made no attempt to hand over the 'English lands' which they were said to have usurped, while MacMurrough and the Leinster chiefs made not the slightest attempt to quit the land of Leinster. Nor was the great submission ever legalized by enactment of the Dublin parliament.

On the English side the refusal of the chiefs, especially MacMurrough, to fulfil the terms was denounced as a breach of faith and led to Richard II's second expedition. Nevertheless their submission was regarded as binding the future, and one of the arguments put forward by Henry VIII in taking the Crown of Ireland in 1540 was the general acceptance of Richard II as over-lord in 1395.

Roger Mortimer was now left as Lieutenant to enforce the terms and to recover his lordships of Leix and ulster In doing so he was slain in a battle of Kellistown in Carlow on July 20th 1398 against an army of the Linester Irish, in which he was said rashly to have worn only the linen dress of an Irish chief. Himself but twenty-five years of age, Mortimer left only an infant son, Edmund, and a daughter Anne.

The news of the disaster filled King Richard with fury and despair, for Roger was heir to the childless king and his chief lieutenant in his struggle with the baronial party. He revoked MacMurrough's grant of Norragh, and on June 1st 1399 landed at Waterford with a large army, vowing to burn MacMurrough out of his woods. Again he marched by Kilkenny and sent the Earl of Gloucester to bring MacMurrough to submission. A meeting of the feudal host in its fully panoply of armed knights in serried ranks and the light levies of the Irish under the king of Leinster in some unnamed glen of these wild mountains is the subject of one of the few illuminated pictures we have of Irish medieval history. Art MacMurrough is represented as riding a splendid black horse, without saddle or housings, which had cost four hundred cows He wears a high, conical cap covering the nape of his neck, a parti-coloured cloak, long coat and under-coat, all of gay yellow, crimson, and blue.[5] He is described as a fine, large, handsome man, of stern, indomitable bearing, who refused to submit and boldly declared, 'I am rightful king of Ireland and it is unjust to deprive me of what is my land by conquest'.

From Dublin Richard himself marched back to Waterford, for events in England compelled the return of him and his grand army. There the news of Derby's landing at Ravenspur reached him, and the last of the Plantagenets sailed form Ireland on August 13th 1399 to meet his tragic doom of deposition and death.

[1] From this Turloch 'Donn' ('the Brown') we get the still surviving title of O'Connor Don.

[2] A statute of Absentees for Ireland was passed in the English Parliament of 1380 by which all subjects who have lands, rents, benefices, offices, and other possessions in Ireland shall return to reside there and hold such lands, etc., or send men to defend them; otherwise two-thirds of the profits shall be forfeited to the use of the justiciar and government for the use and defence of the State. This important act was often put into force in the next two centuries.

[3] This John was a brother of Donal MacDonnell of Harlaw, Lord of the Isles; expelled by Donal, he had taken to the galloglass profession under O'Neill. In 1399 he married Margery Byset, heiress of the Glens of Antrim, and founded a MacDonnell lordship there.

[4] The chief vassals of the province kings, such as MacMahon, vassal of O'Neill, are called by the Anglo-Irish 'uarraghs' or 'urraghts', a corruption either of 'orrigh', under-king, or 'oireacht', the assembly of a king's chief vassals and electors.