Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Annals of the Four Masters (Author: [unknown])

Annal M1541


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1541. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-one.


There was much severe weather, frost, and snow, the beginning of this year, which prevented tillage and ploughing from being properly done in Ireland.


O'Carroll (Ferganainm, the son of Mulrony) was treacherously slain (he being blind) by Teige, the son of Donough, son of John O'Carroll, and his kinsmen, and by the son of O'Molloy (John, the son of Donnell Caech), in the castle of Cluain-lisg ; but though O'Carroll was an old man, he, nevertheless, displayed great prowess and strength in defending himself against his slayers, which gained him a name and renown. Twelve of his people were killed along with him.


O'Molloy (Cahir), a man of great character and renown in his time, died.


Teagh-Sarain, both houses and churches, was burned and plundered in Lent by the sons of O'Madden, namely, Murrough, Breasal, and Cathal. After


this and in revenge of it Felim O'Melaghlin went to Clonfert, and demolished and plundered the Great Church and the monastery of Clonfert.


Tuathal Balbh Balbus, the son of John, son of Rory O'Gallagher, a worthy man, and one of the most powerful of the sub-chieftains of Tirconnell, died on the 1st of February. He was a man of valour and prowess, though he never used to kill or destroy persons, for there was no battle or skirmish into which he went from which he would not bring away prisoners. The reason of his acting thus was this: one time in his youth that he was listening to a sermon and exhortation of one of the friars of Donegal, he heard it inculcated that, in order to attain everlasting reward, it was not meet to kill persons, or to shed their blood; wherefore he made a resolution never to wound a man, and this vow he always kept while he lived.


A great defeat was given by Mac Quillin (Rury, the son of Walter) to the sons of Hugh O'Neill, in which was slain Aengus, the son of Donough, son of Mulmurry Mac Sweeny, together with a party of the gallowglasses of Tirconnell. In it were also slain a battalion of the gallowglasses of the Clann-Donnell, Galloglagh, and many others besides. Mac Quillin went a second time with a force against the sons of Hugh O'Neill, and slew Con and Donnell, the sons of Hugh.


O'Donnell (Manus) went to Cavan to meet the English Lord Justice; and the Lord Justice received him with great honour and respect; and they formed a league of peace, alliance, and friendship with each other.


The eastern crannog on the Lough of Glenn-Dallain was taken by the


sons of Donnell, son of Donnell O'Rourke, from Donough, the son of Donough O'Rourke. In some time after this the sons of Donough O'Rourke, i.e. Donnell and Ferganainm, made an attack upon the crannog, and privately set fire to the town; but that thing being discovered and perceived, they were pursued upon the lake, and overtaken by the sons of Donnell. Ferganainm, the son of Donough, was slain and drowned; and Donnell was taken, and afterwards hanged, by the sons of Donnell, son of Donough O'Rourke.


An army was led by O'Donnell (Manus) into Tyrone, to meet the English Lord Justice; and they traversed and desolated the country. The Lord Justice returned into Meath, and O'Donnell, separating from him, went back through Tyrone, and arrived safe, without meeting battle or opposition on that occasion, either in going or returning. And O'Donnell marched along the eastern side of the lake in Fermanagh, and destroyed Cuil-na-noirear, and from the lake eastwards, both mainland and islands; for he had boats and vessels spoiling and plundering the islands, and his army devastating the country, so that he left them in want of corn for that year.


An army was led by O'Donnell, some time afterwards, into Fermanagh, and pursued his route on the west side of the lake; and he sent part of his forces in boats along the lake, while he himself, with the number he kept along with him, proceeded by land, so that they plundered the whole country, both lake and land, until they reached Enniskillen; and they broke and threw down the castle of Enniskillen, and returned safe from that expedition in triumph.


Donnell, the son of Niall Garv, son of Hugh, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, was slain by O'Boyle, after Donnell had gone to assist Turlough, the son of O'Boyle, against his father. They first gave O'Boyle the onset, but O'Boyle turned upon and defeated them, and slew this son of Niall O'Donnell.


Con, the son of Brian, son of Owen O'Rourke, was slain by the Clann-Manus of Tir-Tuathail.


Mac Ward (Conor Roe, the son of Farrell), Ollav to O'Donnell in poetry, a superintendent of schools, and a man not excelled in poetry and other arts,


who had founded and kept a house of general hospitality, died on the 20th of December, after unction and penance.

Annal M1542


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1542. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-two.


The son of O'Neill (Felim Caech, the son of Con, son of Con) was killed with one cast of a javelin, by Mac Donnell Galloglagh. Two other sons of O'Neill died.


Brian, son of Niall, son of Art Oge, son of Con O'Neill, heir to the lordship of Tyrone, the most illustrious man for nobleness, hospitality, and prowess, of all that came of the tribe of Owen, son of Niall, for a long time, died in the old castle.


The son of O'Brien (Turlough, the son of Murrough, son of Turlough) died in his bed, at Inis-I-Chuinn. He was the most expert at arms, the most famous and illustrious man, of his years, in his time.


Mac Con, son of Cu-meadha, son of Donough, son of Rory, son of Maccon of the large head Mac Namara, was unbecomingly slain by his kinsman, by Maccon, son of Rory, son of Maccon, who was son of Rory, son of Maccon of the large head.


Cormac, the son of Dermot, son of Teige Cam O'Clery, a worthy Friar Minor of the convent of Donegal, died.


Mac Conmidhe ( Brian Doragh, the son of Solomon ), a man skilled in poetry and literature, a rich and affluent man, who kept a house of general hospitality for all, died about the festival of St. Columbkille, through the miracles of God and St. Columbkille, and the curse of O'Roarty, because he had profaned and dishonoured the Great Cross, for he had struck it before that time.


O'Melaghlin (Felim Oge, the son of Felim, son of Con, son of Art, son of Con, son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac Ballagh) was slain in the night, at Baile-Sgrigin, by the sons of Mageoghegan, namely, Conla and Kedagh Roe,


and Edmond Roe Dillon. He was the lawful possessor of the chieftainship and principality of his ancestors. It was to commemorate the year of O'Melaghlin's death the following quatrain was composed:
  1. One thousand and five hundred years,
    And two-and-forty, without error,
    Since Christ was born for the crime of the Tree,
    To the death of Felim O'Melaghlin.


An irruption and attack was made by the sons of O'Madden against the castle of Feadan; and they burned and plundered the town. On this occasion they slew Melaghlin O'Raigne. The people of the territory went in pursuit of them as far as Teagh-Sarain; but the pursuers were defeated, and Melaghlin, the son of Edmond Mac Coghlan; David, the son of Felim, son of Donough; Turlough, the son of Farrell, son of Conor; and many others, were slain, on the 4th of the Nones of October.


An army was led by O'Donnell (Manus), with his sons, i.e. Calvagh and Hugh, into Lower Connaught. These sons and O'Doherty went on before the army, on a plundering excursion, as far as Ballymote; and they plundered Mac Donough, and carried off the spoils to O'Donnell. The chiefs of Lower Connaught came to O'Donnell, and particularly Mac Donough of Ballymote, who came in pursuit of his property; and they all paid O'Donnell his rents on that occasion.


O'Conor Roe (Turlough Roe) was taken prisoner by Rory, the son of Teige Mac Dermot, on the Rock of Lough Key.


Calvagh O'Donnell went upon a plundering excursion against the descendants of Hugh Ballagh, son of Donnell. He committed depredations and slaughters upon them, and returned home safe after that enterprise, in triumph.


A hosting by O'Donnell and Calvagh in the summer of this year; and O'Rourke (Brian) and O'Kane (Manus, the son of Donough) joined their muster. After they had assembled together, they agreed to march against Mac


Quillin (Rury, the son of Walter), and they did not halt until they arrived at the Bann. Here they divided the army into three portions, in order to cross the fords of the Bann, for they were prevented from using the boats of the river, because Mac Quillin, together with a strong body of English troops, was at the other side, to defend the river against them, and to prevent them from crossing it. The forces of O'Donnell, however, crossed the Bann in despite of them, though, in crossing it, they were in danger of being drowned, and encountered very great peril. Upon landing, they sent forth light scouring and terror-striking parties through the country, namely, one detachment eastwards to Cnoc-Lea, and another up along the Bann, and these seized upon heavy and substantial preys, and many great spoils, in every place through which they passed. But Calbhach O'Donnell, O'Rourke, and O'Kane, and their forces, obtained still greater and more numerous spoils than those seized upon by the other detachments. Each of these detachments encamped separately with their preys and spoils for that night. On the morrow O'Donnell ordered them to knock down, kill, hough, and break the bones of these immense spoils and preys, which they accordingly did; and it would be difficult to enumerate or reckon the number of cattle that were here struck down, besides more which the men of Breifny and the O'Kanes drove off to their own countries alive. After this Mac Quillin came to O'Donnell, and bestowed upon him great presents, consisting of horses, armour, and other beautiful articles of value, and made peace with him. O'Donnell, with his army, returned home safe and in triumph from that expedition.


Mac Quillin, i.e. Rury, the son of Walter, and the son of Mac Donnell, went into Oireacht-Ui-Chathain, and committed great depredations. O'Kane, i.e. Manus, the son of Donough, with bonaghtmen of the Clann-Sweeny, whom he had then in his service, namely, the son of Mac Sweeny Fanad, and the descendants of Rory Mac Sweeny, went in pursuit of the preys; and, having overtaken Mac Quillin with his preys, a fierce engagement took place between them, in which Mac Quillin and the numerous Scots whom he had along with him were defeated, with a great slaughter of men, together with the son of Alexander, Carragh Mac Donnell, and the son of Mac Shane, with many others of Mac


Quillin's forces. Mac Quillin himself and the son of Mac Donnell escaped with difficulty by flight; but great numbers of their people were drowned as they were crossing the Bann.


Mac Quillin, having induced the English Treasurer and a great number of the English to assist him, made a second incursion against O'Kane. They took O'Kane's castle, i.e. Léim-an-Mhadaidh, and slew and destroyed all the warders who were in the town; and Mac Quillin departed safe and victorious on that occasion. Some time afterwards Mac Quillin called into his service the descendants of Rory Mac Sweeny; the son of Donough, son of Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath; the son of Murrough Mac Sweeny; and the son of Mac Sweeny Banagh; and many others of the youths of the Clann-Sweeny along with them. These repaired to Mac Quillin, and were treated by him in an honourable and friendly manner, and entered into agreements and covenants with him. A treacherous and malicious plot was formed by the son of Mac Donnell, by the Scots, and also by Mac Quillin's people, namely, to come upon those noble and high-born youths of the Clann-Sweeny and attack them, after they had gone to them, and after every agreement they had made with Mac Quillin. They resolved upon this plot, and fell upon them as they were coming out of Mac Quillin's town, without warning, and unperceived by the Mac Sweenys, so that they slew the greater part of them. There were slain here the son of Mac


Sweeny Banagh, and the son of Murrough Mac Sweeny; and the number that escaped was not great, in comparison with the number killed.


The crew of a long ship came from West Connaught to Tirconnell, to plunder and prey. The place which they put in at was Reachrainn-Muintire-Birn, in Tir-Boghaine. When Turlough, the son of Mac Sweeny of Tir-Boghaine, received intelligence of this, he made an attack upon them, so that none of them escaped to tell the tale of what had happened, except their chief and captain, namely, the son of O'Flaherty, to whom Mac Sweeny granted pardon and protection; and he sent him home safe, outside his protection, to Conmaicne-mara.


An army was led by O'Donnell (Manus, the son of Hugh, son of Hugh Roe) into Connaught, in the autumn of this year; and the chieftains of Lower Connaught came to him with peace and friendship, and obediently paid him his rents and chiefries; and he then returned to his house.


Not long after the dispersion of this army of O'Donnell, Mac William of Clanrickard (Ulick na-gCeann, the son of Rickard), and Mac William Burke, marched another very great army to proceed into Lower Connaught. They first took the town of O'Flanagan at Bel-atha-Uachtair, and then proceeded, together with Mac Dermot and the sons of Teige Mac Dermot, into Lower Connaught. The chieftains of Lower Connaught repaired to meet Mac William; and he made them his prisoners, and returned home to Clanrickard with prisoners and hostages. These were the hostages: O'Dowda, Mac Donough of Corran, and some of the Clann-Sweeny of Connaught, with Mulmurry, the son of Colla, who died in captivity before he was set at liberty, and other prisoners, taken from the son of Cathal Oge O'Conor.


The son of O'Donnell (Calvagh) repaired to the English Lord Justice, and confirmed and ratified the peace of O'Donnell, and his own peace, with him, and then returned safe.



O'Donnell (Manus) gave Tuath-Ratha and Lurg to Maguire (John, son of Cuconnaught), O'Donnell having some time before destroyed a great deal upon Maguire. For this Maguire gave up himself, his country, and his land, to O'Donnell, and in particular the privilege of calling for the rising-out of his country, or a tribute in lieu of the rising-out not obtained. He also gave i.e. agreed to give to O'Donnell half the eric i.e. fine paid for killing men throughout Fermanagh.


O'Neill (Con, the son of Con) went to the King of England, namely, Henry VIII ; and the King created O'Neill an Earl, and enjoined that he should not be called O'Neill any longer. O'Neill received great honour from the King on this occasion.


Mac William of Clanrickard (Ulick na gCeann) and O'Brien (Murrough) went to England, and were both created Earls; and they returned home safe, except that Mac William had taken a fever in England, from which he was not perfectly recovered.


Mulmurry, the son of Owen Mac Sweeny, was slain by the sons of Mulmurry, the son of Colla Mac Sweeny, a week after the death of their father Mulmurry, the son of Colla.


The sons of Mulmurry, son of Colla Mac Sweeny, were banished from their country, their towns were destroyed, and one of themselves and a party of his followers were slain.


Maguire (John), and Rory and Naghtan, the sons of O'Donnell (Hugh Oge,


the son of Hugh Roe), went upon a predatory excursion into Dartry, and despatched a marauding party through the country; and Naghtan, the son of O'Donnell, was killed by the cast of a dart.


Felim Duv, the son of Hugh O'Neill, was slain.


Mary, the daughter of Magauran, and wife of Mac Clancy (Feradhach), died.

Annal M1543


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1543. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-three.


Edmond, the son of Brian O'Gallagher, Bishop of Raphoe, died on the 26th of February, after having received opposition respecting the bishopric.


The son of Mac Sweeny Fanad (Mulmurry, son of Donnell Oge), heir to the lordship of Fanad, was slain by the sons of the late Mac Sweeny Fanad, namely, Donough and Mulmurry, the sons of Turlough, son of Rory, son of Mulmurry. Before his death he shewed, as usual, great valour, bravery, prowess, and dexterity at arms; for he slew Dubhaltach, the son of Ferdoragh Mac Sweeny, the most valiant champion that opposed him.


The son of Mac Sweeny Banagh (John Modhordha, the son of Niall More) died in the beginning of his life and renowned career.


The son of O'Boyle (Brian, the son of Niall, son of Turlough) was treacherously slain by the sons of Niall Oge O'Boyle, who were in his friendship, in his company, and in his pay.


O'Donnell (Manus) repaired to the great Council at Dublin, together with his relatives, Egneghan and Donough, who had been for some time held in fetters by him, but were set at liberty by the advice of the Lord Justice and the chiefs of Ireland in general, after they had made peace and friendship between them. Con O'Donnell, his brother, who had been a long time in England, was also reconciled to him. Con returned to England to the King, and remained with him, with honour and respect.


The castle of Leithbher, which O'Donnell had given to Cahir, the son of Donnell Balbh O'Gallagher, and to a party of the descendants of Hugh


O'Gallagher, to be guarded by them, was maintained by them for Hugh, the son of O'Donnell, and for themselves; and they banished O'Donnell's loyal people, and the doorkeeper of the castle. O'Donnell and Calvagh were greatly incensed at this, and Calvagh in particular, who proceeded to wreak his vengeance upon them for what they had done, so that some persons were killed in the contests between both parties, besides herds and flocks which were abused and injured. The people of the town slew Dubhaltach, the son of Colla Mac Sweeny, a gallowglass distinguished for his valour and prowess. Donough, the son of O'Donnell, assisted the descendants of Hugh O'Gallagher on this occasion. Rory, the son of O'Donnell ; Ferdoragh, the son of John, son of Tuathal O'Gallagher, and his sons; and the sons of John Ballagh, son of John, were taken prisoners by Donough, the son of O'Donnell, and by Cahir, the son of Tuathal Balbh O'Gallagher.


The son of O'Doherty (Cahir, the son of Gerald, son of Donnell, son of Felim) was slain by the sons of O'Doherty, Rory and John, the sons of Felim, son of Conor Caragh. They also slew Hugh Gruama O'Doherty. And O'Donnell marched with his forces against O'Doherty, to take revenge of him for these deaths, and proceeded to destroy the corn of the country, until he obtained hostages from O'Doherty, as pledges for his obedience, and for his own award for the violation of his jurisdiction.


Cahir, the son of Tuathal Balbh was afterwards taken prisoner by O'Doherty, and delivered up to O'Donnell ; and O'Donnell himself made a prisoner of Turlough, the son of Felim Fin O'Gallagher, and brought both these prisoners to Lifford, to see whether he could obtain the town; but he did not obtain it on that occasion.


The descendants of Owen Mac Sweeny and the descendants of Cormac Mac Donough went on a predatory excursion against O'Hara Boy. O'Conor (Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Hugh) came up with them, and defeated the Clann-Sweeny, and slew Rory, the son of Donnell, the sons of Mulmurry, son of Owen, and a party of the descendants of Cormac Mac Donough, together with numbers of their people, on that occasion.



Mac Sweeny na-dtuath and his son, Brian, were taken prisoners by a fleet from West Connaught, at Inis-mic-an-Duirn, and carried into captivity.


Dissensions of war having broken out between Maguire and the descendants of Turlough Maguire, the descendants of Turlough went into Tirconnell, and were harassing and annoying the people of Fermanagh. Maguire upon this repaired to O'Donnell, and made a league of peace and friendship with him, as he had done some time before.


Maurice, the son of Paidin O'Mulconry, a man learned in history and poetry, a man of wealth and affluence, a learned scribe, by whom many books had been transcribed, and by whom many poems and lays had been composed, and who had kept many schools superintending and learning, several of which he had constantly kept in his own house, died, after having gained the victory over the Devil and the world.


Kedagh O'Melaghlin was inaugurated Chief of the Clann-Colman; in opposition to Rury O'Melaghlin. The Clann-Colman were not happy during the period of these two, compared to what they had been during the time of Felim; for, during the time of these two, war and devastation, cold and famine, weeping and clapping of hands, prevailed in the country. Rent and tribute were levied for each of them in Magh-Corrain; and though their career was but of short continuance, they, nevertheless, wrought innumerable evils. A nocturnal irruption was made by Rury and his kinsmen into the plain of Gailinn, in Delvin, and burned and plundered the plain. Melaghlin Balbh O'Madden and Art Mac Coghlan pursued them, and gave them battle at the church of Gailinn, where Cormac O'Melaghlin, the brother of Rury, and thirteen of the chiefs of his people, were slain and recte or drowned.


Annal M1544


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1544. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-four.


The Earl of Clanrickard (Ulick-na-gCeann), the most valiant of the English of Connaught, died. This was news of great moment in his country. Great dissensions arose in Clanrickard concerning the lordship; and Ulick, the son of Rickard Oge, was styled Mac William, although many in his own and in the neighbouring territories were opposed to him, in favour of Thomas, the son of Mac William, i.e. Thomas, the son of Ulick-na-gCeann.


Rory O'Melaghlin was slain at Clartha, by Richard Dalton and his kinsmen, in a nocturnal assault; and it was for the interests of Kedagh O'Melaghlin they committed this slaughter.


The son of O'Neill (Niall, the son of Art Oge), a Tanist, who had suffered most toil and hardship of war, between the Kinel-Owen and the Kinel-Connell, of any that had come of the race of Owen, son of Niall; a select vessel to become Lord of Tyrone, had he been permitted to attain to it, and a man full of skill and knowledge in every science, died of a sudden illness in the old castle.


Mac Sweeny Fanad (Turlough, the son of Rory, son of Mulmurry), an energetic, fierce, and vivacious man, who had suffered much from wars and disturbances in his own country for some time till then, was slain by the sons of Donnell Oge Mac Sweeny, in revenge of their brother, whom his Turlough's sons had slain. These were the names of those sons of Donnell Oge who committed that slaughter, namely, Rory Carragh and Donnell Gorm. John, the son of Donough, son of Mulmurry, was also slain along with Mac Sweeny; but though he (John) fell, his slayer, i.e. Donnell Gorm, did not escape without being severely wounded. After this Rory Carragh, the son of Donnell Oge was styled Mac Sweeny.



Murrough, the son of Mac Sweeny na dTuath, a man distinguished for hospitality, nobleness, and vigour, and Donough, his brother, both died.


Margaret, the daughter of Mac Donnell (Aengus of Ilea), the wife of O'Donnell (Manus) after Joan, the daughter of O'Neill, died on the 19th of December.


Celia, the daughter of Manus O'Donnell, and wife of O'Boyle (Donnell), died on the 14th of February.


Calvagh, the son of O'Donnell, went to the English Lord Justice, and brought English captains with him into Tirconnell to O'Donnell. O'Donnell, Calvagh, and these captains, went with ordnance and engines for taking towns to the castle of Lifford, to take it from the descendants of Hugh O'Gallagher. As they were approaching the castle, O'Donnell gave up the hostages of the sons of Hugh, whom he had had for some time in his custody (viz. Cahir, the son of Tuathal, and Turlough, the son of Felim), to the Englishmen, in order to strike terror and alarm into the minds of the people in the town. They afterwards attacked the town. One of the English was shortly afterwards killed; and the English, to avenge him, killed Cahir, the son of Tuathal, in his fetters. Hugh, the son of O'Donnell, and the descendants of Hugh, surrendered the castle for the liberation of the son of Felim Finn, and of the other son of Tuathal Balbh, who were detained in fetters; and they themselves then left the country. O'Donnell, having paid the English their wages, dismissed them to their home.


An army was led by O'Donnell into the Route, and took Inis an-lochain, whereon Mac Quillin had a wooden castle and an impregnable fastness. O'Donnell took this castle, and gave it up to O'Kane. On this expedition O'Donnell also took the castle of Baile-an-lacha, and obtained many spoils, consisting of weapons, armour, copper, iron, butter, and provisions, in these towns. He afterwards took the island of Loch-Burrann, and the island of Loch-Leithinnsi, where he likewise obtained many spoils. He burned the whole country around, and then returned home safe after victory.



A war arose between O'Donnell and O'Neill. O'Donnell went and lay in ambush near the old castle, and slew several persons ; and he took the grandson of Brian and others prisoners on that occasion.


O'Neill committed a depredation along the river which is called Finn.


Calvagh O'Donnell committed a depredation in Tyrone.


O'Donnell committed another depredation in Tyrone.


The sons of Mac Donnell, James and Colla, came into the Route with a band of Scots, at the instance of Mac Quillin; and he and they proceeded to Inis-an-lochain, and took that town from O'Kane's warders. Brian, the son of Donough O'Kane, and all that were with him on Inis-an-lochain, were burned, and also all the property, arms, and armour. Great depredations and injuries were committed by Mac Quillin upon O'Kane on that occasion.


O'Kane hired gallowglasses of the race of Rory Mac Sweeny; and one day as Mac Quillin crossed the Bann, and seized on a prey, O'Kane and his gallowglasses pursued and overtook him, stripped him of the prey, and slew and wounded a great number of his people.


The Earl of Ormond went into Clanrickard to assist his kinsman, William Burke, son of Rickard; but the sons of Rickard Oge suddenly defeated him; and a good baron of his people, namely, Mac Oda, was slain; and more than forty of the Earl's troops were slain in the gateway of Athenry on that occasion.


The castle of Banagher was re-erected by O'Carroll (Teige Caech), in despite of the Clann-Colman and the O'Maddens, for they were at strife with each other.


Melaghlin, son of Breasal O'Madden, the second lord that had been in Sil-Anmchadha (and the entire lordship would not be too much for him, on account of his hospitality and noble deeds), was slain by Melaghlin God O'Madden, a week after the commencement of the re-erection of Banagher.


Annal M1545


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1545.The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-five.


Niall Conallagh, the son of Art, son of Con O'Neill, died.


Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Owen) died in Umhall-Ui-Mhaille.


Egneghan O'Donnell was slain by a party of Calvagh O'Donnell's people.


O'Conor Sligo (Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Hugh) was slain by a party from Moylurg.


The defeat of Coill-na-gcuiridin was given by Calvagh O'Donnell to the sons of the great O'Donnell More, in which Donough Cairbreach O'Donnell was slain.


A part of Christ's Church in Dublin was broken down for some purpose, and a stone coffin was discovered, in which was the body of a bishop, in his episcopal dress, with ten gold rings on his ten fingers, and a gold mass-chalice standing beside his neck. The body lay in a hollow, so cut in the stone by a chisel as to fit the shape of the body; and it was taken up, all the parts adhering together, and placed in a standing position, supported against the altar, and left there for some time. No part of the dress had faded or rotted, and this was a great sign of sanctity.


A dispute arose between the Earl of Ormond and the Lord Justice, namely, the Chancellor; and both repaired to the King of England to settle that dispute before him, both having sworn that only one of them should return to Ireland. And so it fell out, for the Earl died in England, and the Lord Justice returned to Ireland. The death of that individual, i.e. James, the son of Pierce Roe, son of Edmond Butler, would have been lamented, were it not that he had greatly injured the Church, by advice of the heretics.



The son of Mac William of Clanrickard (Thomas Farranta, the son of Ulick-na-gCeann, son of Rickard, son of Ulick of Cnoc-Tuagh) went upon an excursion into Sil-Anmchadha. When he was observed in the territory by the Sil-Anmchadha, they pursued him to the pass of Tire-Ithain, where he was slain by the people of Melaghlin Balbh O'Madden, together with twenty of the most distinguished of his people.


Great dearth prevailed in this year, so that sixpence of the old money were given for a cake of bread in Connaught, or six white pence in Meath.


A war broke out between O'Rourke (Brian Ballagh, the son of Owen) and his own brother by the mother's side, namely, Teige, the son of Cathal Oge O'Conor, Lord of Sligo. Great injuries were done on both sides between them; and one of them was the killing of Turlough O'Reilly, the son-in-law of O'Rourke, with the shot of a ball, in the gateway of Sligo, by the son of Cathal Oge.


Mac-I-Brien of Ara (Conla) was slain in his own castle by some prisoners whom he had in captivity.


John, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Conor, son of Donough, son of Donnell-na-madhmann Mac Sweeny, was slain by Conor, the son of Murrough, son of Conor Mac Sweeny.


Teige, the son of Thomas, son of Scanlan, son of Dermot Mac Gorman, was unbecomingly slain by the sons of Murtough Mac Gorman.


Pierce O'Morrissy, a master of schools, a general lecturer of the men of Ireland, and a man of charity and piety, died.


Donnell, son of the great official, Mag Congail, died.


Annal M1546


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1546. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-six.


Donnell, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, was treacherously slain, on the 20th of April, by O'Gallagher (Owen, the son of Edmond) and his wife Honora, daughter of Tuathal Balbh O'Gallagher, after they had invited him to Inis-Saimer, under the protection of God, of Mac Ward (Godfrey), and Cucogry, the son of Dermot, son of Teige Cam O'Clery. The death of this man was the cause of great sorrow, for of all the descendants of Connell, the son of Niall, there was not one of his years from whom more was expected by the multitude.


Many disaffected persons of the Geraldines rose up against the Saxons, in revenge of their expulsion from their patrimony, namely, William, the son of James, the son of the Earl of Kildare; Maurice-an-fheadha, son of James Meirgeach, son of the Earl; and many other youths besides these. They did indescribable damages, among which were the plundering of Baile-mór-na-nIustasach, and the plundering of Rath-bile, and of all the country around them; and the plundering and burning of Rath-Iomdhain, from which they carried away on that occasion many thousands of cows, a number in fine that could not be enumerated or reckoned.


An incursion was made by O'Kelly and the descendants of Breasal O'Madden into Sil-anmchadha, against Melaghlin God O'Madden. The inhabitants of the country went in pursuit of them, and made an attack upon them; but they turned round on them their pursuers, and slew more than forty of them; and the territory and Ormond felt the loss sustained in this battle.


The plain of Cairbre and Castle-Carbury were plundered and burned by the aforenamed insurgents, and by Donough, the son of O'Conor Faly. O'Conor himself (Brian) and O'More (Gilla-Patrick) afterwards rose up, to join in this insurrection. When the Lord Justice, Anthony St. Leger, had heard of this,


he came into Offaly, and plundered and burned the country as far as the Togher of Cruachan; and he remained there two nights, but he returned without receiving battle or submission. O'More and the son of O'Conor (Rury) attacked the town of Ath-Ai, and burned the town and monastery, and destroyed many persons, both English and Irish, both by burning and slaying, on this occasion.


The Lord Justice came a second time into Offaly, and remained fifteen days in the country, plundering and spoiling it, burning churches and monasteries, and destroying crops and corn. He left a garrison in the town, to oppose O'Conor, namely, one hundred horsemen, one hundred armed with guns, one hundred with battle-axes, and one hundred soldiers, together with their common attendants; he left them a sufficiency of food, and all other necessaries, and then departed, and proceeded with his great army into Leix, whither the Earl of Desmond came with a numerous army to join him. They remained for fifteen days plundering that country; and they took Baile-Adam, a castle belonging to O'More, and left warders in it. After this the Lord Justice sent letters and writings to the chieftains of Offaly, inviting them to come into the territory, and abandon O'Conor, and that he would grant them pardon. They accordingly did return; but not long afterwards the English returned into the territory, and acted treacherously towards them, so that they deprived them of many thousands of cows. O'Conor and O'More were proclaimed traitors throughout Ireland, and their territories were transferred to the King. And O'Conor went into Connaught to look for forces; and the people of Fircall and Mageoghegan, at the request of the Lord Justice, turned upon O'Conor's people,


and took many cows and prisoners from them. The Clann-Colman and Muintir-Tadhgain did the same; and scarcely had there been in modern times so much booty and spoil collected together. And thus was he expelled and banished, he who had been the head of the happiness and prosperity of that half of Ireland in which he lived, namely, Brian O'Conor. And he remained in Connaught until the following Christmas, after having been proclaimed a traitor by the English.


Mac Gillapatrick (Brian) took prisoner his own son, Teige, a distinguished captain, and sent him to Dublin with a statement of his crimes written along with him; and the English of Dublin put him to death at the request of his father.


New coin was introduced into Ireland, i.e. copper; and the men of Ireland were obliged to use it as silver.


At this time the power of the English was great and immense in Ireland, so that the bondage in which the people of Leath-Mhogha were had scarcely been ever equalled before that time.


Teige O'Coffey, preceptor of the schools of Ireland in poetry, was taken prisoner by the English, and confined for eighteen weeks in the King's castle for his attachment to the Irish. It was intended that he should be put to death, but he escaped safe from them at length.


The English erected the castle of Daingean, and destroyed the church of Cill O'Duirthi, and used its materials in the work; and they ruined the castle of Cruachan.


Edward VI. was crowned King of England on the 28th of January.


Annal M1547


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1547. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-seven.


Mac Sweeny Baghaineach (Niall Oge) was slain on the 3rd of September, by the sons of his own brother, namely, the sons of Maelmurry, namely, Donnell Oge and Donnell Oge. He was killed while in prison, in the new Badh Bawn, in revenge of their father, who had been slain some time before by Niall. Maelmurry Meirgeach, their other brother, did not assist them in this killing.


More, daughter of O'Carroll, an excellent and truly hospitable woman, died.


The rebels Fitzgeralds sustained a great defeat at Baile-na-dtri-gCaislen from the English, and from Brian-an-chogaidh, the son of Turlough O'Toole, in which the two sons of James, son of the Earl, namely, Maurice-an-fheadha and Henry, with fourteen of their people, were taken prisoners. They were afterwards conveyed to Dublin, and all cut into quarters, excepting Maurice, who was imprisoned in the King's castle, until it should be determined what death he should receive. Thus were these plunderers and rebels dispersed and scared; and although their career was but of short duration (one year only), they committed vast depredations.


O'Conor and O'More crossed the Shannon, some of their sons having come for them to Ath-Croich. They assembled numerous forces for the purpose of wreaking their vengeance on the English, who were in possession of their patrimonial lands; and they afterwards proceeded into Leinster.


A great wind arose the night before the festival of St. Bridget. Scarcely had so great a storm occurred from the birth of Christ until then. It threw down churches, monasteries, and castles, and particularly the two western wings of the church of Clonmacnoise.


The power and jurisdiction of the English prevailed so much, that, through terror, no one dared to give food or protection to O'Conor or O'More.


The justiceship was taken out of the hands of Anthony St. Leger; and a new Justice assumed his place, namely, Edward Bellingham.


Maurice-an-fheadha, son of the Earl of Kildare, was put to death in Dublin.



Great preys, i.e. five hundred cows, were carried off by Melaghlin God O'Madden from the O'Donnellans.


The castle of Athlone was repaired by the English, namely, by Willian Brabazon, the King's Treasurer in Ireland, and the English and Irish of Meath, in despite of O'Kelly (Donough, the son of Edmond) and the Irish of Connaught. At this time the forces of the Lord Justice were engaged in erecting a fortification in Leix around Badhun-Riaganach, where they left warriors to oppose O'Conor and O'More.


Coffey, the son of Melaghlin, son of Breasal O'Madden, the best youth of his age (twenty-one years) of his tribe, was slain by the people of O'Carroll and of Melaghlin Balbh O'Madden. But Murrough Reagh, the son of O'Madden, the brother of Melaghlin Balbh, who was in prison with Coffey, was hanged, in revenge of him, by Coffey's kinsmen and people; so that both were carried for interment at the same time.


O'Conor and Cahir Roe, and their kindred, formed a new confederacy against the English, for the English had stripped these also of their patrimony, as well as O'Conor; and therefore they joined in confederacy with O'Conor.


An irruption was made by O'More and the sons of Cahir O'Conor into the county of Kildare, and burned and plundered the greater part of the territory of the Eustaces. They remained in that country until the Lord Justice overtook them. These Irish were defeated on this occasion, with the loss of two hundred foot soldiers.


O'Melaghlin (Con, the son of Art) and his kinsmen were defeated by Niall, the son of Felim O'Melaghlin, and the people of the Baron of Delvin, at Faithche-Chiarain, where there were slain O'Melaghlin (Con) and Cormac, his brother, Tanist of Clann-Colman, and a score or two along with them.


O'Conor (Brian) and O'More (Gilla-Patrick), having been abandoned by the Irish, went over to the English, to make submission to them upon their own terms, under the protection of an English gentleman, i.e. the Lieutenant. This, however, was a bad protection.



Cucogry, the son of Edmond Mac Coghlan, head of his own branch of that family, was treacherously slain by Melaghlin O'Melaghlin and Murrough, the son of Turlough.


Mac Murrough (Murtough, the son of Art Boy) died.

Annal M1548


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1548. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-eight.


A great defeat was given by O'Donnell (Manus) to his own son, Calvagh, and O'Kane (Manus, the son of Donough), at Srath-bo-Fiaich, where O'Kane himself and numbers of others were slain, on the 7th of the month of February.


Mary, the daughter of Mac Conmidhe Mac Namee, died on the 4th of April.



O'Conor and O'More went to England with the Lieutenant Francis Bryan, at the King's mercy. The King, however, gave their patrimonial inheritances, namely, Leix and Offaly, to the Lieutenant and his kinsman, who built two large courts mansions in these territories, namely, the Campa, in Leix, and Daingean, in Offaly; and they proceeded to let these lands at rents to the English and Irish, as if they were their own lawful patrimonial inheritances, after having banished and expelled their own rightful, original inheritors, O'Conor and O'More, from thence, with all their adherents and descendants.


O'Melaghlin, i.e. Teige Roe, brought Edmond a Faii and the forces of Leinster into Delvin, to plunder that territory. It happened that Edmond a Faii made a prisoner of Melaghlin, the son of Art O'Melaghlin, who had come along with Edmond, by order of the King's Council, and sent him to Dublin. The castle of Ceann-coradh and the monastery of Galinn were taken on this occasion by O'Melaghlin and Edmond. O'Melaghlin returned from Delvin in sorrow, without obtaining submissions or hostages; and Edmond continued to conquer Delvin in the King's name, in opposition to O'Melaghlin; and thus had O'Melaghlin brought a rod into the country to strike himself, for Edmond a Faii expelled and banished himself and all his tribe out of Delvin, just as the young swarm of bees expels the old. He afterwards styled Art, the son of Cormac, the Mac Coghlan, and deprived Cormac, the son of Ferdoragh, of that portion of the country which he possessed. He plundered him, and expelled and banished him westwards, across the Shannon, into Hy-Many; and after thus expelling Cormac, he repaired the castle of Cill-Comainn, and placed the provisions of the descendants of Farrell and his own warders in it. Cormac and the Hy-Many, on the 9th of May, made an incursion into Delvin; and they burned and plundered Lomchluain-I-Flaithile and Cnoc-Ratha-Benain, and


slew six persons, besides the only son of O'Sheil (Murtough), the best physician of his years in the neighbourhood. It happened afterwards that Mac Coghlan, the inhabitants of the country, and the bonaghtmen of the Faiis, met them at Bel-atha-na-gcaerach, a ford on the River Dubh-Abhainn, where Cormac and his army were defeated, and more than twenty slain, together with Melaghlin, the son of John O'Kelly, the son of O'Fallon (Felim), and the son of Dowell Mac Naghtan; and they left behind them twenty horses, besides weapons and armour. Others of them were drowned. By common consent they were all beheaded on the Monday following; and their heads were carried to the town of Edmond a Faii, namely, Baile-mic-Adam, in Kinel-Fearga, in Ely O'Carroll, and elevated on sharp poles as trophies of victory.


Edmond a Faii pitched his camp around the castle of Feadan, and remained there for eight days. Cormac Mac Coghlan, who during this time was within the castle, was compelled to give hostages; and he and Edmond formed a gossipred with each other.


A great war having broken out between the French, the English, and the Scots, Donough. the son of O'Conor Faly, and the sons of O'Conor Faly, entered the King's service, and were sent to England to assist in the war, and thus to be banished from their patrimonial inheritances. They were attended by a numerous muster of the kerns of the province of Leinster and Meath.


Calvagh O'Carroll went to Dublin to the great court, and was taken by treachery, and imprisoned in the King's castle; nor was any one suffered to know why he was taken, or how much would be demanded for his ransom.


The Lieutenant and Edmond a Faii made two incursions into Ely, which very much alarmed O'Carroll; and a war broke out between him and them in consequence. Not long after this Edmond a Faii requested Mac Coghlan and the people of Delvin to accompany him on a predatory excursion into Ely. This they refused to do; and Edmond became highly enraged and incensed on account of it, so that hostilities broke out between them; and O'Carroll and


Mac Coghlan banished Edmond for his insolence and tyranny towards them. They took the castle of Kilcommon and the castle of Kincora from him; and thus was he deprived of Delvin, after it had been for half a year in cruel bondage under him.


Saighir-Chiarain aud Cill-Cormaic were burned and destroyed by the English and O'Carroll.


The Lieutenant and the English made an incursion into Delvin, at the instance of Edmond a Faii (in revenge of his expulsion), and burned and plundered (the country) from Bealach-an-fhothair to Tochar-cinn-mona, and also Baile Mheg-Uallachain, in Lusmhagh. They remained encamped for one night at Baile-na-Cloiche, and returned on the morrow with booty and spoils, without receiving battle or opposition.


Magh-Slaine was plundered by O'Melaghlin (Teige Roe), by the English of Athlone, and by the fleet of Caladh.


The castles of Ely and Delvin were demolished through fear of the English, namely, Banagher, the castle of Magh-Istean, and Clochan-na-gceapach.


The Red Captain made an army against O'Carroll to Carraig-an-Chomhraic, where O'Carroll gave battle to them, and slew forty or sixty of them.


The Red Captain made three incursions into Carraig-an-Chomhraic in one quarter of a year, but was not able to do any damage to the pass or the castle, and returned without obtaining submission, having (also) received insult, and lost several of his people.


Cahir Roe O'Conor was taken prisoner by Richard Saxonagh Burke, and delivered up to the English.



O'Carroll burned Nenagh upon the Red Captain, both monastery and town, from the fortress out. On this occasion he also burned the monastery of Uaithne, banished the Saxons out of it, and created great confusion among them, by which he weakened their power, and diminished their bravery; so that he ordered them all out of his country, except a few warders who were at Nenagh, in the tower of Mac Manus.


Cahir Roe O'Conor was put to death in Dublin; and Melaghlin O'Melaghlin made his escape from the English.


O'More (Gilla-Patrick) died suddenly in England; and he would have been a lamentable loss, were it not for the power of the English.


Magh-Corrain was burned, both houses and churches, by O'Carroll (Teige Caech) and Mac Coghlan (Art, the son of Cormac), that they might wreak their vengeance upon Delvin. They pitched their camp for the night at Leacach Amadlain.


John, the son of O'Neill, marched an army against the Clann-Hugh Boy; and Brian Faghartach O'Neill, the son of Niall Oge, son of Niall, son of Con, son of Hugh Boy, a successful and warlike man, a bountiful and truly hospitable worthy, the brilliant star of the tribe to which he belonged, was slain by John O'Neill on that occasion.


Annal M1549


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1549. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred forty-nine.


O'Boyle (Donnell, the son of Niall, who was son of Turlough) died on the 4th of August.


Eveleen, the daughter of O'Donnell, and wife of O'Boyle (Turlough), died.


Melaghlin God O'Madden, Tanist of Sil-Anmchadha, was slain by Melaghlin Modhardha O'Madden and his kinsmen, in revenge of his father and brother.


A house was attacked at the town of Newcastle in Clonlonan, Westmeath, by Niall O'Melaghlin, upon O'Melaghlin (Teige Roe) and his kinsman, Murrough. The house was burned over them, and more than twenty persons were killed and wounded; nine of them were killed on the spot. O'Melaghlin and his kinsman, Murrough, escaped; but Murrough was wounded on that occasion.



Edward Bellingham, the Lord Justice, went to England; and William Brabazon, the Treasurer, was appointed in his place. A great court was held by this Lord Justice in Limerick, to which O'Carroll repaired, under the safe protection of the Earl of Desmond, the Mayor of Limerick, and the chiefs of the English and Irish who were present at that court; and he returned home safe, with terms of peace for himself and his Irish confederates, namely, Mac Murrough, O'Kelly, O'Melaghlin, and many others not enumerated.


Baile-Mic-Adam was taken from Edmond a Faii, and the O'Carrolls returned to it again; in consequence of which there was great rejoicing and exultation in Ely


Donough O'Farrell, Tanist of the O'Farrells, was treacherously slain by his own brother.


O'Sullivan (Dermot), a kind and friendly man to his friends, and fierce and inimical to his enemies, was burned by gunpowder in his own castle; and his brother, Auliffe O'Sullivan, took his place; and he also was killed soon afterwards.

Annal M1550


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1550. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty.


Rury, the son of Donough, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, Bishop of Derry, and a friar by his own will, died, and was buried in the monastery of Donegal, in the habit of St. Francis.


The Abbot of Assaroe (John, the son of Donnell Roe O'Gallagher), died on the 29th of April.



Mac Sweeny Banagh (Turlough Meirgeach) was slain on the 8th of January, at Mac Sweeny's town, by the Clann-Coilin (William, Teige, and John) and the Clann-Coinnegein.


Rory Ballagh, the son of Owen Roe Mac Sweeny, requested O'Donnell to give him the lordship of Tir-Boghaine; and as he did not obtain it, he went to Killybegs, and totally plundered that town. He was slain three months afterwards by Mulmurry, the son of Hugh, on the 3lst of March.


Mac Ward of Tirconnell (Farrell, the son of Donnell Roe), a learned poet, a superintendent of schools, and a man of great name and renown throughout Ireland in his time, who kept a house of general hospitality, died.


Anthony St. Leger, who had been sometime Lord Justice of Ireland, returned to Ireland as Lord Justice; and a great number of the Irish chieftains went to meet him at the great court in Dublin.


Richard Saxanagh, the son of Ulick-na-gceann, was styled Earl of Clanrickard.