In the matter of Meaghers

When he was posting on Thomas Meagher, Malcolm found himself considering the man’s family origins. Meagher himself may not be worthy of the heights of adulation his admirers shower on him, it is undeniable that he had a remarkable tradition to which he must have felt the need to aspire.


The “baronies” of Ireland were the creation of the Norman desire for neatness. Ikerrin (Uí Chairín) is that promentary of Tipperary which pokes up between the modern counties of Offaly and Laois. Find the town of Roscrea, and you’ve hit the spot.


A rebel family tradition

An anonymous contributor (but generally identified as Andrew Carnegie), wrote an article for Antiquary, volume XIV for July-December 1886, and claimed an affinity with the Meaghers. There is a .pdf of this, along with some poor-quality and uncorrected OCR scans of this piece on the net. Malcolm was so frustrated, he went back to the original text to produce the following transcript.

It seems to be reasonably complete, including the two original steel engraved illustrations. There are a couple of apparent typos, which have been left uncorrected. In the original the footnotes are marked with asterisks, dagger symbols and the like. Here, for convenience, they are numbered.

Antiquary: A magazine devoted to the study of the past

Vo. XIV. July – December, 1886. [Pages 101-108]

 The O’Meaghers of Ikerrin

The family of O’Meagher, which held long sway, played no inglorious part in the history of Ireland. The Cinel Meachair [1] are descended from Fionnchada, son of Connla, son of Cian, second son of Oiliol Olum, King of Munster in the third century.

In 1617 it was conceived so important to ascertain who were the heads of the clanns, that the Earl of Thomond compiled a “Book of Pedigrees of the meere Irish,” in which he records that of Meachair, who was thirteenth in  succession from Cian. Sir George Carew, President of Munster about this time, also collected for the use of Lord Burghley “Descents of the meere Irish,” in which he gives five generations of the O’Meaghers. “Pedigrees of the Irish Nobility,” preserved in the British Museum, [2] also record five generations of the O’Meaghers; and beside these there are nine other pedigrees of the O’Meaghers in the libraries of Lord Roden, of the Royal Irish Academy, and of Trinity College. That in possession of Lord Roden, written on vellum by Duald Mac Ferbis, brings the pedigree down to Teige or Thaddeus O’Meagher, who was thirty-eighth in descent from Cian; and a pedigree in the Royal Irish Academy, which was compiled in 1664 by Cucory O’Clery, one of the Four Masters, also written on vellum, brings the pedigree down to John O’Meagher, who was thirty-ninth in descent from Cian.

At the foot of the pedigree was inserted the following note: “The steed and battledress of every Lord of them belong to the Comarba of Cronan [3] and Inchanambeo, and these must go round him (the chief of the Meachair) when proclaiming him Lord, and the Comarba should be at his shoulder (i.e. the place of honour), and he should rise before the Comarba, and that Meachair was King of Ele.” [4]

The territory of the Cinel Meachair was called Ui Cairin, modernized Ikerrin, a barony in the north of the County Tipperary, situate at the foot of Bearnan Eile, i.e., the gapped mountain of Ely, now called the Devil’s Bit from its curious outline. The barony contains 69,381 acres of arable land and land and water, and it is subdivided into twelve parishes, rated at the annual value of £45,000. The rivers Nore and Suir rise in the parish of Borrisnafarny.

We find the earliest notice of the clann in an ancient life of St. Columba,[5] which informs us that one of his disciples named Machar received episcopal ordination, and undertook to preach the Gospel in the northern parts of the Pictish kingdom. The legend adds that Columba admonished him to found his church, when he should arrive upon the bank of a river where it formed by its windings the figure of a bishop’s crozier. Obeying the injuctions of his master, Machar advanced northward preaching Christianity, until he found at the mouth of the Don the situation indicated by St. Columba, and finally settled there with his Christian colony, and founded the church, which from its situation was called the Church of Aberdon.

In O’Clery’s Calendar of the Irish Saints,[6] the feast of “The Daughter of Meachair” is fixed on 7th September, and that of Dermod (son of Meachair), Bishop of Airthear-Maighe, Tuaith-ratha (Tooraah, County Fermanagh), on the 6th January.

The War of the Gaedhill with Gaill [7] and the Chronicon Scotorum [8] record that King Malachy , Monarch of Erinn in the year 1012, “led a plundering expedition against the Danes, and he ravaged as far as Ben Edair (Howth); but Macmordha [9], son of Murchad, and Sitruic [10], son of Amhlaidh, and the Danes of Leinster, overtook them and killed the whole of one of their three plundering parties. There fell then Flann, son of Malachy, and Lorean, son of Echtigern (King) of Cinel Meachair, and two hundred along with them. This was the defeat of Drainen, now Drinan, County Dublin.”

In 1280 Seaffriadh Bacagh MacGilla, Patraic the Lame, married Inghin, daughter of O’Meachair, King of Ui Cariin [Ikerrin].

In 1315 Edmund, fifth Chief Butler of Ireland, received a grant of the return of all writs in his Cantrod of Ormon Hyogurty and Hyocarry Ikerrin; and 1328 James, his son and successor, was created Earl of Ormonde by Edward III, who geranted to this nobleman’s son, James, the royalties, fees and all other liberties in the County Tipperary and the royal liberty thus established continued down to the year 1714, when by an Act of the Irish Parliament, 2 George I., it was abolished.

In 1361 King Edward III. sent his son, the Duke of Clarence, to Ireland to fill the office of Lord Deputy. In 1367 the memorable Parliament of Kilkenny was held, in which was passed the celebrated Statute of Kilkenny. This remarkable ordinance, although chiefly directed against the Anglo-Normans who had adopted the laws and customs of the natives, contains some enactments full of the jealous and penal spirit which continued for centuries after to pervade and infect the whole course of English legislation in Ireland.

By this statute it was high-treason for any person of English origin to contract a marriage with an Irish family; the infraction of this stern law, unless dispensed with by the King’s special permission was punished with unrelenting severity.

On the 23rd December, 1385, Richard II. granted a license to Sir Almaric Grace, styled Baron Grace, for the better preservation and improvement of the peace of the country, to form an alliance with Tibinia, daughter of O’Meaghir, dynast of Ikerrin, all the laws to the contrary notwithstanding.

On the 20th March, 1372, Stephen, Bishop of Meath, had an order for £326, equivalent to £13,000 sterling, granted him for having risked his life in various parts of Munster with men-at-arms, fighting and reducing to peace, O’Meaghir, O’Brien of Thomond, McConmarre (MacNamara), and other rebels.

The annals of Lough Ce [11] record that a great slaughter was committed by Art, King of Leinster, in Lough Garman (Wexford) in the year 1401; in retaliation for this the foreigners of Athcliath (the Danes of Dublin) attacked the Gaidhill of Leinster, and a great many of the retained Kerns of Munster, under Tadhg O’Meachair, were slain there.

About this time Gilla-na-naomb O’Hindrin wrote a topographical poem, giving an account of the principal families of Munster, and the districts occupied by them at this period. [12] He mentions the O’Meaghers:

Mightily have they filled the land,
The O’Meachairs, the territory of Ui Cairin,
A tribe at the foot of the Bearnan Eile;
It is no shame to celebrate their triumph.

In the annals of the Four Masters the death of O’Meagher, chief of Ikerrin, is recorded in the year 1413.

On the accession of Edward IV., so small was the portion of Ireland which acknowledged the authority of English law, that from four small shires which constituted the territory of the Pale, were all the lords, knights, and burgesses that composed its Parliament summoned; and the fierce clans which surrounded the Pale were always ready to take advance of the general confusion to which the contest for the English crown had given rise, and the inhabitants of the districts bordering upon the Irish were forced to purchase exemption from them by annual pensions to their chiefs.

In 1462 an army gathered by MacWilliam (Bourke) of Clanrickard, [13] marched into Icarin (Ikerrin), where O’Meachayr, i.e., Thadg, with his confederates met and opposed them, and William Bourke, MacWilliam’s son, was slain by wan cast of a dart by O’Meachayr’s son, by which wan throw O’Meachayr escaped his army. Thady O’Meachayr, King of Icarin, died, and his son supplied his place.

The next notice we find of the O’Meaghers is in an Irish MS, preserved in the public library of Rennes in Brittany, [14] being a translation from English, from Greek, and from Hebrew into Irish, “of the travels of Sir John Mandevil” and of the age of the Lord when John made this journey was one thousand and three hundred and thirty-two years. [15] The age when Fingin, Son of Dermod, son of Donnel, son of Fingin, son of Dermod mor O’Mahony, put it ultimately into Irish, was one thousand four hundred and seventy-two years, and John was thirty-four years visiting the world, and on his return to Rome the Pope confirmed his book, “These are the Lords that were over the Gaedhill;” and after naming MacCarthy mor, O’Sullivan, O’Brien, O’Neill, O’Kelly, O’Connor, O’Donnell, and others, the notice continues, “and Gilla-na-nacmh, son of Tadhg, son of Gilla-na-nacmh, was over the Ui Meachair, et alii multi in Erinn, from that time forth, who are not reckoned for commemoration.”

With a view to the better defence of the English territory at this time, it was enacted in a Parliament held at Naas that every merchant should bring twenty shillings worth of bows and arrows into Ireland for every twenty pounds worth of goods he imported from England. [16] Had the Irish but known their strength or rather had they been capable of that spirit of union and concert, the whole military force of the Pale could not have withstood them.

Upon the resignation in 1490 of Wm. Roche, Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, who was concerned in the rebellion of Perkin Warbeck, Thaddeus Meachair was appointed to succeed him the same year. The temporalities of the see were in a great part the gifts and grants of the Barrys, Fitzmaurices, and other southern chieftains, and on being seized by them Pope Innocent VIII. issued a brief on 18th July, 1492, commanding them to desist from their usurpation. Bishop Meachair in the meantime set out for Rome, on his way took mortally sick, and died at Ivrea in Piedmont.

The writer was favoured last May with a letter from Canon Saroglia, Chancellor of the Cathedral of Ivrea, which contained the following narrative translated from the Italian:

“In 1492 passed to heaven the blessed Thaddeus, an Irish bishop, concerning whom we hear the following details: He was born of the royal stock of O’Meacher, born in the town of Cloyne (quere Clonyne in Ikerrin), in Ireland, and was probably Bishop of Cork. [17] In the second half of the fifteenth century the lay powers of the country set about depriving the Church of its immunities, and compelling some of its bishops to seek in foreign lands that they could not have in their own country. Among them was the blessed Thaddeus, who set out for Rome, and passed through Ivrea, and on the 24th October, 1492, was admitted as an unrecognised pilgrim to the Hospice of St. Anthony; he was broken down by the long journey over the Great St. Bernard, then covered with snow. On the following night the officials beheld a great light gleaming on the bed where the stranger lay. Being frightened they ran to extinguish it; but to their great surprise they discovered that it was a light that did not burn, and that the pilgrim, breathing an air of paradise, was then dead. Next morning the Governors of the Hospice were prayed to relate to Monseigneur Garrgliatti the miraculous occurrence, and on going to the Hospice and examining the papers of the deceased pilgrim, they discovered that he was a bishop; they thought it their duty to provide him with a befitting interment. The bishop with the chapter and clergy, accompanied by all orders of citizens, went processionally to the Hospice and removed the body of the pilgrim, and caused it to be clad in bishop’s dress. The bells of the city were set tolling, and the bishop translated the corpse to the cathedral, where solemn obsequies were held. Remembering the extraordinary light at the time of the decease, and knowing that certain miraculous cures had occurred at the very time, the bishop decided that the corpse should be interred in the cathedral, and at the altar of St. Andrew where reposed the relics of St. Eusebius, Bishop of Ivrea. On the 27th August, 1742, Monseigneur Michele Vittorio de Villa caused the sepulchre, where were the the bodies of St. Eusebius and the blessed Thaddeus, to be opened, and the body of the latter was found whole, and not decayed, clothed in a violet soutane and rochet, his white beard falling on his breast, and a ring on his finger.”

Amongst the Lansdowne MSS. [18] there is a paper dated 18 Henry VIII. (1526), in which the King is recommended to appoint as lieutenant one active and politic nobleman, with experience of the land, like the Duke of Norfolk, and to give him a sufficient army, 4,000 light horse, gunners, morris-pikes, bows, bills, all quick and hardy men, that McMurrough’s, O’Byrne’s, and O’Connor’s countries should be taken; that they were the key of Ireland, and that Melaughlan, O’Molmoye, O’Doyne, O’Dymsye, O’More and O’Mehayr will be dearly won, and as each country was won, the land be let in freeholds at fourpence an arable acre; and when it was once brought to quiet and order the King might, by Act of Parliament, enlarge his realm as he pleased.

Eleven years later (12th August, 1537) Lord Deputy Grey and his Council report to the King that they had won a battle in O’Meagher’s country, and taken the gentleman owner thereof and all that were therein prisoners, and forced O’Meagher to deliver hostages.

In the month of July, 1538, Lord Leonard Gray proceeded on a military progress through a greater part of the kingdom, receiving submission of all the chiefs through whose countries he passed. In this progress, attended by the lords of the Pale, he traversed Offaley, EIyd, O’Carroll, Ormond, and Arra. It is not mentioned that he visited the adjacent barony of Ikerrin, but it is probable that he interviewed its chief for in the following year (7th August, 1539) an indenture was made between the King and Gullernowe O’Maghyr, captain of his nation. The King accepted O’Maghyr as his faithful subject, and O’Maghyr bound himself, his heirs and successors, captains of the said country, to pay to the King twelvepence, lawful money of Ireland, annually for every carucate of land within his country and dominion of Yny Kyryrne, Whenever a general hosting was made he would lead to the Deputy twenty horsemen and forty gallowglas well armed according to the usage of the country, with , with victuals for forty days at his own cost and charges. When the deputy came near the borders of the said country, O’Maghyr would assist him with his whole power for three days, and he and his successors would make a sufficient open road through their country for the more easy passage of the King’s waggons and other warlike instruments, and of the King’s men as often as they should be required to do so by the deputy.

At this period O’Meagher held the Castle of Roscrea, which belonged to the Earl of Ormond by inheritance.

On the 28th June, 1549, Captain Walter ap Poyll reports from the Nenagh a dissension between the Lord Marshal and O’Meagher for certain prey. Nine years later a commission was issued to Sir Henry Radcliffe, Knight, Lieutenant of the King’s and Queen’s Counties, to parle with, take pledges from, and punish with fire and sword the O’Maughers, O’Dunnes, O’Carrolls, and others.

In 1562 the Earl of Sussex reports to the Queen (Elizabeth) what he conceived for the reducing of her English subjects in Ireland,  to live under obedience of the law and of her Irish subjects, to live under certain constitutions more agreeable to their natures and customs, and suggests when Munster shall be settled the president should travail to procure the Irishry inhabiting the other Munster (Upper Munster), to give over all the Irish tenures and to receive states tail and that bonaught [19] should be levied upon the O’Carroll and O’Mawher to the extent of £360; and later on that year, Lord Sussex reported that O’Maugher and other Irish lords on this side of the Shenon lived in obedience under the rule of Sir Henry Radcliffe, Captain of Leise and Offaly, and for the most part desired to give over Irish tenures to hold their lands of the Queen by succession, to have their country made shire-ground, and to live under the obedience of the laws. [20]

In 1567 Sir Henry Sydney, with the view of informing himself of the actual state of Munster, took a journey into that province, and the account he has left presents a picture of lawlessness and abused power. He reported to the Queen that Ikerrin, called O’Meagher’s country, was uninhabited, having been wasted by the younger brothers of the Earl of Ormond. [21]

On the 11th January, 1571, Gillernewe O’Meagher, alias The O’Meaghir, received a pardon, subject to the payment of a fine of £5.

In 1576 Sir Henry Sydney reported that the Queen’s writ had not currency in Tipperary.

In 1579 James Fitzmaurice, “a champion of the Irish cause,” set sail from Lisbon with three ships provided with arms and ammunition, a small supply of money, and a force of about 100 men, and with this means did these sanguine adventurers set out on their mission for the relief and enfranchisement of Ireland, and landed at Smerwick in Kerry ; and finding that the natives did not repair to him, the small band began to express discontent, and Fitzmaurice, after remaining for a month, set off for Holy Cross in Tipperary to seek aid for the desperate adventure he had embarked, and Tipperary being then the region in which, as the chronicler of the time tells us, the fuel of rebellion was always most ready to kindle.

In the autumn of 1582 the Earl of Ormonde plundered Ui Cairn Duharra and South Ely ; and at this period it was generally remarked that the lowing of a cow or the song of a ploughman could scarcely be heard from Dun Caoin to Cashel.

Dymoke, in his treatise, gives a particular of the rebel forces then (April, 1599) employed in the rebellion, and that Keidagh O’Meagher had 60 foot and 30 horse under his command, [22] and Fynes Morrison confirms that statement.

In 1599 Sir George Carew was appointed President of Munster, and the following year he offered large rewards for the heads of the leading rebels. In the month of September 1600, he received intelligence in Kilkenny that Spanish forces amounting to 5,000 had landed, and taken possession of Kinsale. Munster, which had been reduced to a tranquil state by the stern and vigilant rule of the Lord President, remained for some time undisturbed.

Red Hugh O’Donnell, marching to Kinsale to the assistance of the Spaniards, crossed the shoulder of Slieve Bloom into Ikerrin, and remained twenty-six days on the hill of Druin Saileeh awaiting Hugh O’Neill, who was marching slowly after him ; and O’Neill, in his march through Ikerrin, encamped at Roscrea and at Templetuohy. Sir George Carew, notwithstanding all his skill in coercion, found the rebel spirit had become too powerful; and between abettors abroad and their ruthless masters at home, the hapless natives were at once lured and goaded into rebellion. He reported the arrival in Ikerrin of O’Donnell and O’Neill, and that one called Keidagh O’Maghir had gathered 300 rogues together and did many outrages, and that the third son of Viscount Mountgarrett, some of the Graces, and Thomas Butler, a kinsman of Sir Edward Butler, with 200 men, were drawing into Tipperary to assist Keidagh O’Meagher, and suggested to the Lord Deputy Mountjoy the suppression of that upstart rebel.

In 161  Angus O’Daly, a Munster bard, started, at the instance it is stated of Carew, on an excursion through the four provinces to bespatter with ridicule and contempt every chieftain on his way, and on such of the descendants of the Anglo-Normans as had adopted their customs and formed alliances with them. O’Daly executed his task by attempting to prove in detail, by force of assertion, that the Irish chieftains were neither hospitable nor generous, and that they were too poor to afford being so. He traversed Leinster, Ulster, and Connaught, but his excursion was brought to an end in Tipperary, where he received, it is said, that kind of reward which he did not anticipate. Whilst staying at Bawnmadrum Castle with the O’Meagher, he composed a satire on his host, which the servant of the chieftain resented by stabbing him to the heart. He is said to have composed extempore the remarkable quatrain respecting his having so recklessly lampooned his countrymen:

All the false judgments that I have passed
Upon the chiefs of Munster I forgive;
The meagre servant of the grey O’Meagher has
Passed an equivalent judgment upon me.

The Inquisitions taken between the years 1622 and 1637 by the Sovereign’s escheators give some interesting particulars of the O’Meaghers of Barnane, Boulylane, Clonakenny, Clonyne, Cromlyn, Garrymore, Lisnalosky, Louraine, etc., showing what lands they were seized of, their value, by what services they were held, and who, and of what age, were the heirs to same.

Lord Castlehaven [23] in 1645, on his march from Limerick, invested O’Meagher’s Castle of Clonakeny, that stood in his way possessed of by the enemy, and there being no other passage he writes : ” I sent to the adjacent villages and got together crows of iron, pick- axes, and whatever else could be found, and fell a-storming of the castle, and in three or four hours took it. In this place I left 100 men, and being over pretty safe I lodged that night at my ease.”

This castle is situated at foot of Boirisnoe mountain, near the sources of the Nore and Suir.

And in 1649 the Sheriff of Tipperary issued a commission to Teige O’Meagher of Keilewardy and others to “ymmediately raise a body of horse well accommodated with swerds and pistolls, after the rate of one horse and means out of every five colipes.” [24]

Civil War having broken out in 1641, Tadgog O’Meagher, son of the O’Meagher, raised a Regiment of Foot, which formed part of O’Dwyer’s Brigade. This Brigade surrendered to Sankey, commander of the Parliamentary forces in Munster, on the 23rd March, 1652, with all the honours of war, the Brigadier, and all the commissioned officers having the right to enjoy their horses and arms, and liberty to transport themselves to serve in any foreign army in amity with England, persons guilty of murther, or members of the First General Assembly, or First Supreme Council, alone excepted. Brigadier O’Dwyer availed himself of the permission to go abroad, and went, with 3,500 men, to serve under Condé in the Low Countries ; but his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Donough O’Dwyer, Colonel Toige Oge O’Meagher, Theobald Butler, Ulick Bourke, and others, were not suffered to depart, and Miss Hickson, in her Ireland in the Seventeenth Century, [25] writes that they were put upon their trial at a court held at Clonmel, about the 8th November, 1652, for the murder deposed to by one Ellice Jeane, convicted, and soon after executed. The writer could not find any notice of this trial in the Records of the High Court of Justice; Miss Hickson informed the writer that she made the statement on the authority of Carte. Local tradition bears out her statement, and adds that Colonel O’Meagher rode to the scaffold on his black charger, which escaped after its master was hanged, and galloped back to Clonakenny, where it wandered at large for many years. The writer also found a confirmation of Colonel O’Meagher’s death in Pièces Originals [26] preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: “Teige Oge O’Mahar, who suffered in Cromwell’s day, married a Butler, but had noe heirs.”

The Irish Confederates were finally subdued in the summer of 1652, and then took place a scene not witnessed in Europe since the conquest of Spain by the Vandals. The captains and men of war numbered to 40,000, were suffered to embark for the Continent, and forced “to feed themselves by the blades of their swords in the service of foreign countries.” Those who stayed behind had families that prevented them from following their example. They returned to their former neighbourhoods, took up their abode in the offices attached to their mansions, or shared the dwellings of their late tenants — their mansions being occupied by some English officer or soldier — and employed themselves in tilling the lands they had lately owned as lords, until the 11th October, 1652, when they were ordered to transplant to Connaught, the news being proclaimed by beat of drum and sound of trumpet in the adjoining town; ploughmen, labourers, and others of the lower order of people excepted, because they would be useful to the English as earth-tillers and herdsmen; and others of them, with a crowd of orphan boys and girls, were transported to serve the English planters in the West Indies; and thereupon the conquering army divided ancient inheritances amongst them by lot.

Every person ordered to transplant was furnished with a certificate which described his family and friends who intended to bear him company to Connaught, and his stock and crop in ground. The writer’s ancestor, John O’Meagher, being then a minor, the certificate was made out in favour of his mother, Anne O’Meagher, of Cloyne Castle, widow, and seventy-five persons agreed to accompany her into exile. For each acre of winter corn she left behind, three acres of land were to be assigned, summer corn and fallow being included; for each cow or bullock (if two years old and upwards), three acres ; for every three sheep, one acre ; for every garron, nag, or mare (if three years old and upwards), four acres ; and for goats and swine proportionally. These assignments were only conditional, for at a future day other Commissioners were to sit at Athlone to determine the extent of lands the transplanters had left behind them, and to ascertain the extent of disaffection to Parliament, by which the proportion to be confiscated was to be regulated. Ikerrin was then parcelled out among the Anneslows, Armingers, Bayleys, Boats, Bulkeleys, Butlers, Chappels, Creuzals, Desbrows, Drakes, Eakins, Eames, Foulkes, Gossans, Hales, Heaths, Joneses, Lenthalls, Lobbs, Mathers, Minchins, Morrises, Noels, Pierceys, Radcliffes, Rundalls, Runthorns, Smiths, Thornburys, Sympsons, Weekes and Woodcocks; the Dukes of York and Ormonde and Sir Martin Noel getting the largest share.

Of those who went abroad, Theodore de Meagher served in 1660 in the Spanish Netherlands as Maréchal de Campo, under the Prince of Condé.

Civil war having broken out in Ireland in 1689, the O’Meaghers declared for King James, and joined his army. We find John Meagher serving in Sarsfield’s Horse ; Cornelius, Brian and Edmund O’Meagher in Purcell’s Horse; Daniel O’Meagher in Butler’s Foot; John, Edmund, and Thomas O’Meagher in Bagenal’s Foot ; Philij) O’Meagher in Oxburg’s Foot, and Thomas O’Meagher in Mountcashel’s Foot. And after the surrender of Limerick the remains of the Jacobite army volunteered for France and Spain, and we find O’Meaghers serving in the French regiments of Bulkeley, Clare, Galmoy, and Lee ; in the Spanish regiments of Hibernia, Irlanda, Wauchop, and Waterford ; in the Prussian army in Von Derfinger’s Dragoons, and in the garrison of Cüstrin; and in the Polish Saxon army, Thadée de Meagher became a Lieutenant-General and Colonel Proprietor of the Swiss Guard, and Chamberlain to the King : he was commissioned by his sovereign to negotiate with Frederick the Great a treaty of neutrality on the breaking out of the Seven Years’ War. [27]


1 Cinel Meachair, descendants of Meachair

2 Harleian MSS

3 St. Cronan was patron of Roscrea, the principal town in Ikerrin, and his successor was called his Comarb. Inchanambeo, or the island of the living, also in O’Meagher’s country, has been described by Geraldus Cambrensis, who visited it in 1185.

4 A gold cap, or morion, which may have served as a crown, and had been used at the inauguration of the O’Meagher, was found in a bog at the Devil’s Bit mountain in 1692. Its ornamentation was undoubtedly Irish, and was identical with some earlier golden articles — lunulæ and fibulæ — found in Ireland, and consisted of embossed circles, some parallel and others arranged in angles of the chevron pattern.

5 Adamnan’s Life of St. Columba, edited by Rev. Dr, Reeves, and Transactions of the Spalding Club.

6 Edited by Rev. Dr. Todd, S.F.T.C.D., and Rev. Dr. Reeves, now Bishop of Armagh.

7 Edited by Rev. Dr. Todd, S.F.T.C.D.

8 Edited by W.M.Hennessy, M.R.I.A.

9 King of Leinster

10 King of the Danes

11 Edited by Wm. H. Hennessy, M.R.I.A.

12 He died in 1420; this poem has been edited by John O’Donovan, LL.D.

13 Translated from the Irish by Dudley MacFirbisse, for Sir James Ware, Arch., Mis, Vol. 1, p.246.

14 Edited by Rev. Dr. Todd, F.S.A., in Prue, R.I.A. (Irish MSS. Series)

15 Columbus did not start on his first expedition until the year 1492.

16 Cox.

17 He was Bishop of Cork and Cloyne 1490-92.

18 2,405 Ireland, 15,983 British Museum.

19 Bonnaught, a certain allowance unto the Queen’s galloglas or kerne by the Irishry, who were bound to yield a yearly proportion of both money and victuals for their finding.

20 Calendar Carew MSS., p. 346

21 Journal Kilkenny Archæological Society, vol. i., 1872, p. 158.

22 Page 130

23 He held a command under the Irish Confederates.

24 As much pasture as would feed a bullock, cow, or colt for a year.

25 Longmans, 1882.

26 Vol. 1909.

27 Carlyle’s History of Frederick the Great, vol. iv., p. 55.


Filed under History, Ireland, nationalism

3 responses to “In the matter of Meaghers

  1. Hello. I will mention this page on my blog, since it is appropriate. You know, I assume, that this is all directly from Joseph Casimir O’Meaghers book, Some Historical Notices of the O’Meaghers of Ikerrin? (

  2. Malcolm Redfellow

    Thanks for that input, Sinéad.

    That post above is simply a transcription of an article from Antiquary “A magazine devoted to the study of the past”, Vol. XIV. July – December, 1886. Antiquary was published out of London and New York. This particular volume is on-line at

    Although the essay is “anonymous”, it is clearly by Andrew Carnegie, and all the sources I come across ascribe it to him. As far as I recall, Joseph Casimir O’Meagher published in 1890, which post-dates this article.

  3. Pingback: Miscellaneous Thoughts, Links.1 « MaherMatters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.